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Full text of "Remarks on the most important military operations of the English forces, on the western side of the peninsula of Hindoostan; in 1873, and 1874, in which, the conduct of the army under the command of Brigadier General Mathews, is vindicated, from the illiberal misrepresentations, contained in a late Narrative, signed John Charles Sheen, and published by order of the Court of Directors of the East India Company. In a series of letters to a friend in England. To which are annexed two original letters, from Gen. Mathews to Lord Macartney, and Sir Eyre Coote"

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IN 1783, AND 1784, 


The Conduit of the ARMY under the Command of BRIGA- 
illiberal Mifrepreientations, contained In a late NARRA- 
TIVE, Signed JOHN CHARLES SHEEN, and publilhed by 
Orde- of the COURT of DIRECTORS of the EAST INDIA 


. T O A 






y-lrtus rcpulf* ncfda fordid* C 
Intamiaalis fulget bonoribtu. 



PRINTED at the ilogogtaplMc 



I N T H E 







I PRESUME to dedicate the 
following pages to you, as the only 
tribute of gratitude, which I can at 
prefent offer, in return for that pro- 
te&ion by which you condefcended to 
diftinguifti me, while I had the ho- 
nour, during the moft ative part of 
my life, to {hare your toils, and to 
be an eye witnefs of your fervices. 



To vindicate your conduct, which 
malignancy has endeavoured to mif- 
reprefent, or rather to excite fome 
abler pen to do you juftice, is the 
defign of the following remarks. 

On the public mind, the firft im- 
preffion is too often the ilrongeit, 
and the moil lairing. It is, there- 
fore, neceflary to do away that im- 
preffion, before it ihall fink too deep ; 
and to convince every perfon who 
has been prejudiced againft you, that 
it is in a great meafure owing to your 
fpirited exertions, that the Affairs of 
the Company were preierved from 
Ruin on the Weftern fide of India, 
and the Bleffings of Peace at length 
reitored throughout Hindooflan. 

That the Public may view your con- 
duQ: in its proper light, and that you 


( vii ) 

may long continue able to aflert the 
caufe of your Country, and remain lafl- 
ing ornaments to the military charac- 
ter, which you have hitherto fupported 
with fo much honour to yourfelves, 
and advantage to the Britifh Empire, 
will, I flatter myfelf, be as much 
the fincere wifh of every friend to 
his King and Country, as it is of, 

your mod faithful 
and obedient fervant. 

7. M. 

May, 1788. 


Page. Line. 

2 1 8 for has read have. 

j 6 15 for and -were liberated, read who were liberated 
28 2 dele but 

31 i dele not 

i a dele from them 

32 5 dele/ 

47 23 for #z<ty refute, read can refute 

48 8 for regard the fate of Gen. Mal/iews, read regard Gen. 

Sc 1 8 dele/w. 


S I R, 


Bombay, May, 1786* 

A Serious and attentive perufal of 
fome late publications in Europe, relative to 
th cooperations of the army under the com- 
mand of Brigadier General Mathews, on the 
weftern fide of India, has excited my afto- 
nifhment in a very great degree. And that 
fuch exaggerated accounts, fuch palpable 
falfities, as thefe publications contain, mould 
be furfered to pafs uncontradicled, appears 
to me {till more furprifing. 

A You 

You have frequently heard me fay, that 
We had many officers among us, who, 
were not only men of honour, but of true 
courage, and of fignal military talents ; and 
were alike efteemed for their good fenfe, 
fheir tafte, and their love of literature. 
That their fenfe of honour could, in any 
one fingle inftance, be more materially in- 
jured, or their talents have a better oppor- 
tunity for difplay, than on this fubject, 
with a well informed and unprejudiced 
public, I think can hardly ever be difputed. 

I feel, w r ith no fmall concern, that a tafk 
of defending the conduct of brother officers 
and foldiers on fuch an occafion, a talk 
which might come far better from a different 
quarter, mould be referved for me, who 
has fo little to boaft of in refpecl: to literary 
advantages. But as I love my native country, 
I mail ever be perfuaded, that though the 
inherent generofity which has always 
charadterifed Britons, and renders them 
incapable of fufpicion and diftruft, may 
now and then be made fubfervient to the 
purpofes of artful and defigning men; yet 


( 3 ) 

their love of juftice, their love of truth, 
predominating, they will as frequently 
come to a minute examination of charg- 
es, regardlefs of the feeming plaufibilky, or 
the varnim with which they may be em- 
bellimed,*and be thankful for any materials 
that may ferve to elucidate their enquiries, 
under whatever difadvantages they may be 

I am fure my Countrymen, on re- 
flection, will be fenfible of the abfurdity of 
being too hafty in their determinations ; 
when decifions are too precipitately drawn, 
they are apt to bend under the weight of a 
juft and well formed fuperftructure. If the 
eye and the ear were the mere adjuncts of the 
mind of man, and were not fubject to be 
corrected by the underflanding, how nearly 
ihould we border on brutality. If we do 
not, therefore, fufpend our judgment for 
awhile, the coloured canvafs will feem to 
poflefs more charms than nature herfelf, 
and the fuperficial glare of tinfel, be far more 

* The productions of Mefirs* Oakes and Sheen are not 
kre mcauf. 

A 2 invit- 

( 4 ) 

inviting than the luftre of the mod pre- 
cious rubies. 

Encouraged from thefe confiderations, 
I fhall proceed to give you in the courfe of 
our correfpondence, a faithful and particu- 
lar detail of the mod interefting part of the 
military operations, on the weftern fide of 
India, during the years 1783, and 1784: 
and this I entreat you, to communicate to 
as many of your friends as you can ; that 
it may appear to the world, with what lit- 
tle reafon the army has been fo fhame- 
fully ftigmatized. 

It will be unneceflary for me to obferve 
to you, that my fituation with the army, 
during the whole period of its fervice on 
that fide of the Peninfula, was fuch as 
afforded me the ampleft opportunities of in- 

My intention of writing thefe letters, is 
not to exculpate General Mathews from 
imputed guilt, but to clear his officers and 
foldiers from the imputations with which 
they have been indiilriminately afperfed, 


( 5 ) 

as if it were not poffible for them to be 
otherwife than guilty under him. Admit- 
ting him, therefore, in all refpedts to be as / 
culpable as reprefented, guilty of -cruel- v 
ties and peculation, it muft be unjuft 
to make it a necefiary confequence that 
the officers of the army, under his com- 
mand, were equally criminal: for in rv 
direct contradiction of all the malicious re- 
prefeutations to their prejudice in the pub- 
lic prints, I can in confcience, pofitively 
declare, that there never was an army in 
any quarter of the globe, lefs inclined' to 
acts of cruelty and oppreffion ; nor one 
which had exhibited ftronger proofs of un- 
wearied zeal, honour and humanity, than 
that employed on the weftern fide of India, 
during the late war. 

The only inftance in which their con- 
du6l appeared in any wife repreh'enfible, 
was their fupinenefs in having fuffered 
thofe injurious-falfehoods, fo much to their 
difadvantage, to be diffeminated by un- 
friendly minds in England ; when by a 
proper reply, they had every advantage 
which truth could afford for ample juftifi- 
A 3 cation; 

cation ; and the public,, which ultimately 
decides with impartiality, rnufl have done 
them juftice. 

I have now, therefore, on their Behalf 
and my own, taken upon me to anfwer 
for the army under General Mathews, and 
will proceed with calmnefs and candour ; 
and I hope to refute thofe mifreprefenta- 
tions, fo far as they concern us, and 
{lightly to mention fuch other in te reft ing 
particulars relative to the operations of that 
army, as my refidence in India has enabled 
me to notice. 

/ . 

The narrative of Captain Oakes, wherein he 

fpeaks of the treatment experienced by the 

Englifh prifoners, comes firft under my ani- 

madverfion. This narrative appears to have 

/ been publifhed by order of the Court of Directors 

of the EaJl-India Company ; and in the ap- 

^ pendix it is obferved, " That the barba- 

" rities exercifed by Tippoo Saheb on 

" General Mathews and his captive army, 

" were evidently in retaliation, for fundry 

" enormities committed by the troops of 

A " the Company." And, in confirmation 

pf this affertion, he gives us, added to his 


( 7 ) 

own remarks, a relation by Lieutenant 
Sheen, written to his father in London, \J 
dated at Madras, 2d of May, 1784, in matter 
and ftyle of a iimilar nature. 

Recently, and by accident, I faw this 
ftriking fpecimen of arrogance and abfurdity, 
which found its way to the public ; I pe- 
rufed it with the feelings of a man, and the 
fenlibility of a foldier, touched and injured 
in the niceft points his humanity and his 
honour ; and as foon as the heat of a juft 
and natural indignation had given way to 
the cool dictates of reafon, I determined to 
employ my future profeffional avocations, in 
becoming the voluntary advocate of my 
much injured brother officers and foldiers. 

Before I enter on a detail of fr.fts, it 
is neceflary to make a few remarks upon 
the fituation of thofe who hold places of 
eminent truft in the Company's fervice in 
India, particularly the military eftablim- 
ment, which is an object requiring the mod 
vigilant and minute infpection, and an un- 
remitting and vigorous fuperintendance, or, 
from the diftance of the fuperior govern- 
ment in England, confufion and total lofs 
A 4 of 

( 8 ) 

of territory would be die immediate confe- 
quence. For this reafon, founded in necef- 
fity, thofe officers, who are intruded with the 
execution of the Company's orders, whe- 
ther civil or military, are often authorifed 
to exercife a diicretionary power in cafes 
of emergency. Now thefe officers being fu- 
perior to controul, and free from refponfi- 
bility, too often yield to thofe temptations 
of accumulating wealth, which opportunity 
prefents, which avarice and impunity urge. 
The truftee of courfe will , fometirnes, ufe 
that commiffion and authority repofed in 
him, for the general good of the Company, 
as a means of promoting the private fortune 
of the individual, to the fubverfion of pub- 
lic juftice, and to the difgrace of private 

But though fuch betrayers of public 
truft, mould be rendered amenable to punim- 
ment while living, and their names ftigma- 
tized with ignominy when dead, yet difcri- 
mination mould attend the fentence, and the 
innocent be preferved from fuffering with 
the guilty. Thofe who with courage and 
honour have reaped the laurel in the field, 
Ihould not be prevented fro ~\ enjoying their 


( 9 ) 

fair fame, under the {hade of die domeflic- 

Captain Oakes in his Narrative, has ex- 
hibited a charge of enormities againft the 
officers who ferved under General Mathews; 
and though he does not venture to particu- 
larize either the perfons offending, or the 
offences committed : he ramly concludes, 
*' That the misfortunes, which befell the 
" furvivors, were a juft punimment for 
" their crimes, and that Tippoo Saheb's 
" cruelty was, in fome refpeds, rather a 
" matter of retaliation, than of natural or 
" habitual inhumanity inherent to his tern* 
" per." Whatever may have been the 
motives of Tippoo Saheb whatever cruel- 
ties he inflicted upon thofe brave men who 
became his captives by the fortune of war, 
thofe motives could not have been more un- 
jufl thofe cruelties could not have been 
more iphuman, than this unfuppor-ted 
charge upon the character of the whole 

But the enemies of that army, not con- 
tent with the charge of rapine, have like- 



wife accufed them of committing murder, 
even the murder of innocent women and 
children.* This account is faid to be that 
of an officer, who was prefent at the maf- 
facre at Annantpore, in the province of 
Bidnure ; where, he affirms that he favv 
upwards of four hundred beautiful women, 
expiring under the wounds of the Sepoys bayonets; 
and the progrefs of this army has been 
generally compared to that of Cortez in 
Mexico, or Pizarro in Peru. 

I mail fpeak mimutely on this particular 
In its proper place : but does it appear from 
any authority, refpeftable for veracity, that 
the Englim, on their march. through Tip- 
poo Sultan's dominions commited any 
wanton outrage ? Does it appear, that vil- 
lages were fet on fire, the inhabitants carried 
into captivity, or that crops of corn ready 
for the fickle, were deftroyed ? In fhort, 
can it be proved, that the natives were in- 
jured in the leaft degree, either in their 
perfons or property ? On the contrary, 

* Dodfley's Annual Regifter, for 1783, page 91. 

4 the 

V " ) 

the truth is, that Hyder's army, anl after- 
wards that of his fon and fucceffor Tip- 
poo Sultan, was guilty of the moft fhock- 
ng barbarities, fuch as putting tc> death, 
and inflicYmg amputation of limbs, with- 
out regard to age or fex, whethe* armed 
againft him or not, and of laying; wafte 
every part of the country. 

As it makes no part of my defigt to form 
details of fuchbarbaroustranfadtiois, I mail 
touch only for the prefent on themanifeft 
abfurdities contained in the pamphlets of 
Meffieurs Oakes and Sheen. Thefe I con- 
ceive to be the ground work of tin fabrica- 
ted accounts concerning the Bidiure cam- 
paign, in Dodfley's Annual Regifler, and 
fome other European periodical publications. 
In the Monthly Review for May, -785, *it is 
remarked, " That fome provccation, no 
" doubt, had been given by the Britifh army 
" to that of the adverfary ; for that Lieu- 
" tenant Sheen in his Narrative, fubjoin- 
" ed to that of Captain Oakes, fiys,that the 
*' con duel: of Tippoo Saheb waj founded on 

* Ps 2 e 379- Art. 17. 

:t principles 

** principles of retaliation ; and candour 
." mult acknowledge, that the unjuftifiable 
**' behaviour of the Company's army went 
"'a codiderible way in juftification of that 
" of the enemy." 

Again, in a paragraph in Dodfley's An- 
nual Regifter of the year above fpecified, 
it is obfeived, " That as (laughter, cruelty, 
* 4 rapine, and avarice, had difgraced this 
** expedition in its commencement at 
*' Onor^, fb the fame deteftable maxims 
'** and \ices continued to ftain its whole 
* c progrdfs, till thefe were, at its fatal con- 
" cluiioE, moft cruelly requited, when the 
*' innocejit, indifcriminately with the guil- 
4< ty, became victims to the rage of an ex- 
" afperat^d and mercilefs enemy." By 
merely comparing thefe extracts, it may 
eafily be ierceived from what fource they 

I would by no means take upon me the 
vindication of General Mathews in every 
particular piint through which his conduct 
might be viewed, except only in that where 
tyranny and pppreiiion are laid to his charge : 
i neither 

( '3 ) 

neither mall I endeavour to make appear, 
that in thefe charges the General is perfectly 
juftifiable, by adducing fuch circumftantial 
evidence, as fhould put the matter beyond 

all doubt. 


Whatever degree of credit thefe illiberal 
afperfions may have gained with the unin- 
formed part of mankind, it is certain 
no general and impartial hiftory of the mi- 
litary operations of the Britifh forces in 
Hindooftan, has been publifhed under the 
fancYion of any refpectable authority, 
though the fubject itfelf is of the higheft 
magnitude, and deferves recorded in 
the moft circumftantial manner, as nothing 
can be of greater importance to the charac- 
ter of the Britim nation in that part of the 
world. There is indeed an extract of a let- 
ter,* relative to the military operations on 
that fide of India, from the Prefident and 
Select Committee of Bombay, to the Sele& 
Committee of the Court of Directors of the 
Baft-India Company, and this is the only 
account, which may be depended on. And 
it is there acknowledged, that a want of 

Dated June 27, 1783. 

in for- 

( 14 ) 

information from General Mathews, had 
put them under the neceffity of applying to 
Colonel Mac Leod for furnifhing them with 
a detail of the operations of the army, 
from its leaving Cundapore till the furren- 
der of Bidnure, together with any intelli- 
gence he could give them refpe&ing the 
treaty with Hyat Saheb, and the Proceedings 
confequent to it. 

I have the honor to be, 

with the moft perfect refpec% 


Your moft faithful and obliged 
humble Servant. 



Calcutta, Oftobcr, 1786. 
S 1 R, 

THE firft charge brought againft 
the army, in the earlier period of the cam- 
paign, is by the compiler of Dodfley's An- 
nual Regifter, (for 1783, page 88), where 
he fpeaks thus : " But before the arrival of 
" the fouthern troops, Onore was taken by 
" florm, and a cruel (laughter is faid to 
" have been made of the inhabitants of all 
" fexes, ages, and orders, as well as of the 
" garrifon. The official accounts ftate, 
" that the Killedar, or governor, with 
" twelve hundred men, were made pri- 
" foners." 

In direct contradiction to the falfehood of 
this reprefentation, I mail obferve in as 
concife a manner as poffible, that the aflault 
of Onore happened on the 5th of January, 
1 783, about noon, and at a time when the 


( '6 ) 

enemy had juft formed a difpofition for a 
fally into our camp ; as was evident from 
the number that, appeared on the out-works 
and in the covert-ways. This, as imagin* 
ed, was a circumftance which rendered an 
attack on the place lefs difficult than it 
otherwife mufr. have been. In regard to' the 
cruelty, faid to have been exercifed on the 
befieged, nothing can be more groundlefs 
than this affertion ; for on- -the contrary, 
the enemy were treated with the utmoft 
tendernefs and- humanity. 

'!<, tjSVlVif, 

The number of prifoners, taken on the 
furrender of Oiiore, were not trwdve hun- 
dred, but two thoufand eight hundred, and 
were liberated immediately after they were 
captured ; the aflertions therefore of thofe 
who have traduced the characters of the ar- 
my under General Mathews, muft, from 
that circumftance, lofe all authority, and 
convict of falfehood thofe fcribblers who 
have fported with the characters of Britim 

The army, on their march towards t the 
Ghauts, is next accufed by Lieutenant 


( '7 ) 

Sheen,* of having had feverai fkirmifhes 
with Hyder's poligars f. In one of thefc, 
at a breaft>work, " we put, fays he, three 
" hundred of them to the bayonet." By 
this mameful, cruel, and daftardly method 
of fighting, it feems, Mr. Sheen's feelings, 
as a man, were mockingly hurt. Would to 
God the good Lieutenant was as remarkable 
for his veracity, as for his tendernefs ! if he 
was, we mould have to lament the fate of 
every objet lying at the mercy of the Bri- 
tifh troops in the campaign alluded to, be- 
caufe all indifcriminately muft have excited 
his fympathy and companion. 

Lieutenant Sheen, however, feems' pret- 
ty well reconciled to the idea of {tabbing 

* From the illiberal reflexions contained in Mr. Sheen's 
produftion, one would naturally conclude this gentleman to 
be a foreign fugitive : but on looking into the Bombay Ca- 
lendar for 1 786, he there appears in the lower rank of eciigns 
on that eftabliihment. 

f The death of Hyder Ali Khan happened about the gth 
of November, 1782; when his fon and fucceffor, Tippoo 
Sultan, became our future enemy, and promifes to be almoft 
as formidable a one as his father was ; having hitherto held the 
reins of government with a fteady hand. He is doubtlefs pof- 
feffed of eminent abilities ; but he is neither fe great and 
politic a ftatefman, nor fo brave and fkilful a general ; nor is 
he upo;x the whole fo great a prince as Hyder. 

B the 

the reputation of a foldier, and of a gentle* 
man, whofe honour muft be dearer to him 
than life. But the at of ftabbing a 
Mahommedan Tartar with, a bayonet, who 
holds a fcymetar or dagger to your bofom, 
is, with him, aconfcientious Chriftian ve- 
teran, big with the moftfavage and unheard 
of barbarity ^ 

Three hundred', however, put to the 
bayonet, is another of thofe errors in cal- 
culation, for which Mr. Sheen feems pret- 
ty famous. But the truth is, there were on- 
ly in the fum total one hundred and feventy. 
And now on this occalion I wifli to ask y where 
the inhumanity could be again ft a nume- 
rotfs enemy, even if the number exceeded 
three hundred, that, which he himfelf ima- 
gined ? Did we act contrary to the rules of 
war ? We fought with avowed enemies, 
who by taking the field, armed with their 
weapons, and in every refpecl prepared 
equally fop offence and defence, had a fair 
and equal chance agairrft us, their antago- 
nifts. Or is not this alfo the practice of 
modern war amongft civilized nations ? 


That Mr. Sheen's chara&er mould not 
Want any requifite to make it compleat, he 
feems anxious to convince us, that he is not 
lefs remarkable for his wdnderful expert - 
nefs at fabricating, than for his vanity and 
prefumption. ^A fpecinien of this appears 
from what was incidental to the juft recit- 
ed affair of the bayonet bulmefs. " This 
" execution, he fays, fo terrified thofc 
" irregulars, that we met with no further 
lt opposition till we arrived at the Ghauts*, 
*' a pafs about eight feet wide, and three 
u miles long, and the fame ftrongly forti- 
*' fied." Hereupon Mr. Sheen obferves in 
a fort of aftonimment, " that luckily, as it 
*' happened, General Mathews knew no- 
* 6 thing of this defile, otherwife it would 
" have been madnefs in him to have at- 
*' tempted it ; for if the enemy had made 

* This vaft chain of mountains extends aloh the coaft of 
Malabar, at unequal diftances from the fca, and in an almoft 
xininterrupted direftion nearly as far to the foiithward as Cape 
Comorin. The cntfance into the My fore and Bidnurc diftrids 
from the weftern fide of the Peninfula, is rendered extremely 
di&cult and hazardous, by ftccp and narrow pafles over thefe 
mountains, commonly called Ghauts, and therefore the crof- 
iing them with' an army requires the plan of military opera- 
tions to be conducted on a liberal fcule, as Well in point of 
lafety as public utility. 

B 2 " any 

"any tolerable defence, it was impreg- 
" nable." 

Whatever opinion the public 'may have 
formed of the* general character of the com- 
mander in chief, I fancy no man will pre- 
fume to call in queftion his military IkilL 
The animadverfions therefore on it of Lieu- 
tenant Sheen, whofe judgment had not been 
ripened either by time or experience, muft 
be confidered as the very height of prefump- 

But with it, infamous as it will appear, 
I muft beg leave to mention another paflage 
in Dodfley's Annual Regifter for the above 
fpecified year, page 92, which is equally 
abfurd with the foregoing, and probably, 
without examination or doubt of its 
fallacy, borrowed from it. " A fortunate 
" ignorance, it fays, of the difficulty and 
" danger of forcing a paffage through the 
" Ghauts, feemed to be the only apology 
" that could be made for the attempt, at 
" leaft for the manner of conducting it, 
" and the fuccefs feemed to juftify the 
*' raflmefs of the undertaking. The only 
" account we have of this tranfaclion, is 

4< from 

" from an officer, who was one of the 
" party engaged in the attack." The Re- 
gifter's compiler muft furely have had this 
valuable piece of intelligence from Sheen's 
pamphlet, and not the identical perfon of the 
officer. Suppofmg, however, it was from 
the puiflant officer himfelf, what a pity it 
is,fo diligent and faithful an hiftorian mould 
at the fame time forget to acquaint him, that 
he had then the honour to carry the Eng- 
lifh colours there as well as at Onore ! 

Does it appear credible to the intelligent 
and difcerning part of mankind, that the 
General could be ignorant of the Ghauts, 
or that pafs through which he muft un- 
avoidably lead his army before he could 
reach the city of Bidnure ? Did he not in 
a letter to the Prefident and Select Com- 
mittee of Bombay, dated from Cundapore, 
the 29th of January, 1783, reprefent to 
them, in the moft forcible language, the 
great danger and difficulty, if not imprac- 
ticability, of the enterprize, together with 
the fatal confequences likely to attend a 
failure ? The flate and condition of his ar- 
my, he alfo aflured them, was not fuch as 
might warrant an attempt upon Bidnure : 
B 3 {till 

flill, HQtwithftanding, a he conceived it 
to he their defire, he was refolved to make 
the tryal, in which he fhould proceed with 
firmnefs, regardlefs of the danger and the 
hazard to which he was expofed from the. 
inferiority of his ftrength, and fome other 
particulars rather to his difadvantage. Hav- 
ing thus formed his opinion with the ut- 
moft propriety, in confequence of the in- 
formation which he had then obtained, of 
the natural ftrength and fituation of the 
Ghauts, and the number of the enemy, 
who were ready to oppofe his operations, 
it might therefore feem in the General, an 
intrepidity of foul, that fees aad encounters 
all dangers and difficulties ; and a fpirit of 
determinate valour acting by rule, and equal- 
ly diflant from rafhnefs and timidity. 

In a noble attempt we fall nobly , but the 
General with his brave army, fucceeded 
beyond expectation, owing to their ardour 
for acting in conformity to the inftruc- 
tions and exprefs orders of their fupe- 
riors, though at the fame time they had 
bee.n fully fenfible of the extreme hazard of 
the entc rprize. How then fhould the Gene- 
ral be deemed ra(h and headiirong ? The 

aiTertion appears to me fo extremely para* 
doxical, as never -to be fatisfa&orily cleared 
up ; fo that if any meaning, unlefs he 
confefles himfelf mif- informed, can be 
deduced from his tale, few or none will 
.be inclined to think well of Lieutenant 
Sheen's ideas of veracity, concerning mat- 
ters as they really exited and of -courfe 
-of Lieutenant Sheen himfelf, in the merit 
of hk military rank, if Lieutenant Sheen 
is either very likely to continue Lieutenant 
Sheen, \\\Jlatu quo erat priiis, or to poilefs 
jiio military rank at all. 

Mr. Sheen then proceeds to acquaint us, 
*' That arrived at the fecond barrier, we 
'" were alarmed at the prodigious number, 
" and ftrong pofition of the enemy, but 
*' finding it likewife as dangerous to re- 
-" treat as to advance, we charged home on 
" all quarters, 'till rbe motley crew gave 
*' way and fled, leaving about five hundred 
" men killed and wounded." To this he 
adds, " That our fmall body, flufhedwith 
" fuccefs, then proceeded to immediate ex- 
ecution with the bayonet, yet never 
halted a moment 'till they had gained 
66 the fummit of the Ghauts, and all the 
B 4 4i way 


" way under a heavy cannonading from 
" the enemy." 

We have in this account, (which by the 
bye I have endeavoured to mend a little,) a 
charming aflemblage of beautiful meta- 
phors, and fpecimen of happy diftion, pe- 
culiar only to the Lieutenant. What can 
be more admirable than the figurative ex- 
preffion of charging home in all quarters, 
unlefs it be exceeded by the illuftration of 
" our frnall body being flufhed with fuc- 
" cefs, immediately proceeded to effectual 
*' bufmefs with the bayonet." 

It is a truth, well known to every one 
on that fervice, thatthe'lofs of the enemy 
at the aflault of the Ghauts, did not exceed 
one hundred and twenty men killed and 
wounded ; and it is equally certain, that the 
Englifh troops, which attacked the pafs, 
were much more considerable in number 
than Mr. Sheen reprefents them to be : yet 
on the occafion our lofs was very inconfider- 
able, being not more than thirty men killed 
and wounded. 


After the furrender of Bldnure, the ca* 
pital of the province, we are farther told 
by Lieutenant Sheen, " That though the 
" Rajah took care to fecure his own pri- 
*' vate property, he neverthelefs put Ge- 
" neral Mathews into poffeffion of thirty 
" lacks of pagodas, with a confiderable 
" quantity of diamonds and other precious 
" {tones, part of which (he adds,) himfelf 
" had feen, and which afterwards the Ge- 
" neral had fecreted for himfelf, and fent 
" under his brother's fafeguard to Bom- 
" bay." It ftands like wife afferted in Dod- 
{ley's Annual Regifter, of 1783, page 101, 
that an officer,* fuppofed to be Secretary 
to the General, who had free accefs to 
the rooms of the place, where the treafure 
was depofited, and who was even appoint- 
ed to take an inventory of parts of it, de* 
fcribes it as immenfe ; and befides heaps 
of unvalued riches, fuch as jewels, mafly 
gold, and filver furniture, eftimates the 
whole at forty-eight lacks of pagodas. 
A great part of the treafure, the fame fe- 
cretary was heard to fay, belonged to the 

* Mr. William Henry Cowan, of the Bombay Civil Efla- 

officers ; 

( 26 ) 

officers ; at leaft, there were fome commo- 
tions and heart-burnings about it; but the 
General kept it fee-are a long time, and 
what at laft became of it, no intelligence 
eould be had; fb that if jirftice was done 
the officers, the dividend to a fubaltern 
might amount to about three thoufand 
pounds fterling-. 

- It refts undoubtedly a matter of great 
difficulty, to afcertain the exact amount of 
the treafure found in the opulent city of 
Bidhure, and as great to reconcile the va- 
jriaiis and contradictory accounts, which 
have been given of it by different gentle- 
men employed in the fame fervice ; iorne of 
them having affirmed they had ocular proof 
ef what they related, though their relations 
in the main were not confident with one 
another. For -my part, I believe -the truth 
to be, that none of thefe accounts are well 
authenticated by facts, as evidently appears 
fey the oppoiite teftimony of Hyat Saheb, 
the Jemautdar (or Governor of the Pro- 
vince,) who certainly ought to have known 
beft the {rate of the treafure. He afiures 
os, that it amounted to twenty-four lacks 
of pagodas, exclufive of a quantity of jew- 

els and other valuable effe&s, which were 
alib confiderable. We are next informed 
by Lieutenant Sheen, that "Unfortunately 
" for the General, his brother foon after 
" fell into the hands of the Nabob, who 
" ftruck off his head ; and thus it came to 
'' pafs, that the army remained ftili un* 
" informed how this treafure was difpofecj 
<* of, and whether it ever arrived at Bom- 
?' bay. By his calculation, it was a lofsof 
" above 25,000 rupees to each fubaltern, a 
{' quaptum making about 3125!. fterling." 

Though the exceptionable and erroneous 
parts of Mr. Sheen's narrative have been 
hitherto animadverted upon with freedom, 
I notwithstanding may here acquiefce in 
what he fays; and this is a proof, that in 
my attempt to refute the feveral charges 
brought againft the army, I have been aclr 
ing from no other impulfe than that of 
ftrift juftice and impartiality. Thus far, 
I am afraid, the charge is true. Wherever, 
therefore, I mail find reafon to join him in 
opinion, I will readily acknowledge the 
fame, but mufl beg leave to quefKon his 
fair dealing, and contradict him when fen- 
fible he is wrong in his afTertions. 



It is a fact, which cannot be doubted, 
but that a very confiderable portion of the 
treafure found in Bid f nure, was fequeftered 
by the General for his own ufe, and after- 
wards tranfmitted to Goa' or Bombay, in 
^ a veflel of his own. But though this cir- 
cumftance was generally known to the 
\vhole army, no enquiry, to clear up the 
certainty of its being! fo, took place : nor 
was the amount of what was faid to have 
been fent by the General to the abovemen- 
tioned places, ever exactly afcertained, con- 
jectures varying thereon, notwithftanding 
it was thought from unqueftionable autho- 
rity, that this amount could not be lefs 
than 150,000!. fterling. 

It equally deferves notice, that a confi- 
derable part of the captured property in the 
campaign of 1/83, by the forces on the 
coaft of Malabar, and intruded with Agents, 
came to no better account : for at the clofe 
of the war, the army were, and are to this 
very hour, totally ignorant of what became 
A, of it. For notwithftanding the moft ear- 
neft and repeated felicitations of the offi- 
cers, who were deputed and remained in the 
country near three years after this war, for 

v 2 9 ) 

the final adjustment of the claims of hisMa- 
jefty's troops, which had ferved on that fide 
of India, the juft mentioned agents refufed 
payment, under the vague pretence of not 
being authorized to pay any prize money, 
but to fuch claimants, who mould perfon- 
ally appear at the Presidency of Bombay. 

f* But to return to the army, in which I was 
engaged, the diftrefled fituation of its 
greater part, fhortly after the fignal epoch 
of the furrender of Bidnure, on account of 
their long arrears of pay, due from the 
Company, and the very inadequate mare of 
the treaiure, which was affigned them, 
were circumftances that could not make 
them much affected to the General ; and if 
w r e here to add the meafures concerted by him 
to conceal the exact eftimate of the fpoils, 
and evidently with the view of wrong- 
ing the army, it would be no wonder if 
this disaffection had generated extreme dii- 

It appears, however, that notwithftajid- 
ing the prejudices formed againfl the Gene- 
ral, the public fervice was in no wife hurt 
by them. The principal officers of his 


( 30 ) 

'Majefty's forces, though they feverely Felt 
the indignity the General had .put upon 
them, and were determined to do them- 
felves, as well as thofe under their com- 
mand juftice, yet they never failed to pay 
an implicit obedience to his orders and di- 
rections. In fhort, the army had every 
reafon to complain of the General's con- 
duct, and it is with regret I fay, that I can- 
not throw a veil over its deformity : but 
as it is a maxim in our laws, that every 
man is fuppofed innocent till he is fairly 
and juridically convicted of guilt, let us 
for a moment fufpend our judgmnt on 
him, and advert only to the difafters of 
his fate after the furrender of Bidnure, to- 
gether with the arbitrary proceeding of the 
Government of Bombay^ which diverted 
him of his command without exhibiting 
a. iingle charge againfl him : whence, if 
we cannot in our hearts entirely acquit, we 
may, at leaft, find an inclination to pity 

The difaftrous circumftances, which af- 
terwards the army were involved in, and 
which feem to have weighed down the 
General, were not even fo much as fuf- 


( 3' ) 

peeled, or not in the leaft dreaded at the 
time of his fufpeniion, though he was him- 
ielf very fen fible of his hazardous fituation. 
We find that he made feveral applications 
to the Government of Bombay for a rein- 
forcement, reprefenting its abfolute nece- 
fit/; but they were deaf to his felicita- 
tions. He alfo applied to that of .Madras i 
but alas, too late! For the enemy. were 
coming upon him with a very formidable 
army, and he, with lefs than two thou- 
land brave men, met with from them that 
difcomfiture, which he rhuft have expect- 

It is matter of great regret to the candid 
part of mankind, that the commander in 
chief, in that expedition, did not furvive, 
that he might have come before the pub- 
lic, at leaft with an explanation of his con- 
duel, if not with a full anfwer to the ac- 
cufations of his enemies. As the deftru&i- 
on of the principal part of his army in Bid- 
nure, and afterwards the rigorous treat- 
ment of the furvivors, when they firfr. be- 
_came known in England, were circum- 
flances that deeply interefted the public. 
I ihall, therefore, in order to elucidate 
4 your 

your further enquiry, relative to that fatal 
event, as well as for the fake of common 
juftice to the fame of an unfortunate indi- 
vidual, who has not been enabled to tell his 
own ftory, I refer you to the accompany- 
ing letters* written by the general to Lord 
Macartney, and Sir Eyre Coote, a fhort 
time previous to the recapture of Bid- 

In my next, you (hall hear from me of 
this and other adventures : but in the inte- 
rim, be affured that I remain, 

With the utmoft attachment 
and refpect, 


Your's, &c. 

* Annexed to the end of this work. 

( 33 ) 

S I R, 


Calcutta, Djcemler, 1786, 

Ecee iterum Crifyinus ! Lo ! Lieu- 
tenant Sheen again makes his entrance on 
the ftage : he is a principal aftor, and muft 
be called upon to play his part, in the dif- 
ferent fcenes of the army's further opera- 

" The fc'cond day, fays he, after our ar- 
<c rival at Bidnure, the Rajah informed 
" General Mathews of a fort called Annan t- 
" pore, that was under his command, and 
" gave him an order to the Killadhaur, or 
** governor, to furrender it to him on his 
" arrival. This fort was about thirty miles 
" diftant. The general accordingly dif- 
" patched Captain M'Culloch with the fif- 
" tecnth batallion of fepoys, to march and 
" take poffeffion of the place." So far Mr. 
C Sheen, 

( 34 ) 

Sheen, but upon fecond thought, as this 
affair is reputed fomething interesting, I 
mall endeavour, from the beginning, to 
purfue it in its due length. 

On the i ft of February, 1783, the fif- 
teenth battalion of Bombay fepoys, com- 
manded by Captain William M'Culloch, 
with a few artillery men, two field pieces, 
and a howitzer, marched from Bidnure, and 
advanced that day as far as the village of 
Fattah-Pettah, on the Seringapatnam road, 
where they encamped, and remained two 
days. They then proceeded by flow 
marches to Annantpore, a fmall town and 
fort, lituated about twenty-four miles eaft 
of Bidnure, where they arrived on the 5th, 
and fummoned the garrifon, hoping by a 
timely furrender of the place, that the 
erTulioil of blood would be prevented, which 
a fruitlefs and obftinate defence muft ne- 
ceflarily occafion. But, to the great fur- 
prize of Captain M'Culloch, the garrifon, 
inftead of returning a favourable anfwer, 
imprudently added infult, by detaining a Su- 
bahdaur and an orderly Havildar, who carri- 
ed the flag of truce. After this, another fum- 


( 35 ) 

mons was fent off, but with as little fuo 
cefs as the firft, the bearers of it being in 
like manner detained, and no anfwer lent 
back. The Englifh troops remained in the 
town till the evening following. They had 
no heavy artillery to reduce the place by 
force, and being withal apprehend ve of a 
fuperior number of the enemy coming to 
its relief, it was judged, advifable, for the 
prefent, to poftpone the enterprize, and on 
their retreat towards Bidnure, to require a 
fufficient force. 

The Fort of Annantpore being a place of i 
confiderable importance to Tippoo, chiefly 
on account of its being fituated on the Se- 
ringapatnam road, it may not be amifs here 
to defcribe it, if for no other reafon, than 
becaufe it appears to have been little known 
to Europeans. 

The Fort cannot be prized for an advan- 
tageous pofition, having the Pettah, or open 
town at a fmall diftance fouth of it, and 
built upon much higher ground. The 
ditch, is broad and deep, but contains no 
water, except during the rainy feafon. 
C i The 

( 36 ) 

The glacis is naturally fo high as to cover 
part of the curtain, ;ind it would be difficult 
for an enemy to gain therein a lodgment, 
without previous regular approaches. But 
how unfavourable foever it may be in this 
refpecl:, batteries cannot only be creeled at 
the pettah, but mufketry, placed under 
cover of the walls of the honfes, may di- 
rect their fire on thofe, placed to work the 
guns on the ramparts. 

It has three cavalier towers, two of which, 
when it fell into our pofleffion, were found 
occupied by a fort of cannon of enormous 
fize, and their fabric exceeding clumfy. 
This particular fpecies of ordnance is com- 
monly framed of feveral pieces of iron fitted 
together longitudinally, and begirt with 
iron-rings. The natives imagined them to 
be a convenient machinery for difcharging 
ftone bullets of a prodigious magnitude, and 
indeed when fired, they yield a report like 
thunder *. Their uie, but probably rather 

* When Mahcmet II. befie^ed Conftantmople in 14? t, 
be battered the walls with Hone-bullets, und Tome of his 
pieces were of the calibre of i aoolb. but then they could not be 
fired oftner than four times a day. See puiceiardint Hift. 
ad'Iuilin, lib, i. page 24, 410. edit. Veu. 15.62. 


( 37 ) 

in the nature of the Roman Ca'apult, ap- 
pears to be of confiderable antiquity in dif- 
ferent parts of the world. But fince the 
invention of gunpowder, the extreme dif- 
ficulty of pointing and managing fuch vail: 
^nd unweildy pieces, which can only be 
fired in a particular direction, makes them 
of little fervice, and in faft they feldom do 
much execution. The defcribed fort, how- 
ever, notwithftanding all its difadvantages, / 
ftands higher in the opinion of the natives, 
than any other in that part of Hindooftan. 

But to return to Captain M'Culloch, 
whom we left on his retreat, to make a re- 
port of the difappointment he had met 
with ; General Mathews having confidered 
the matter, and the nature of the fervice, 
detached to join him Major Campbell, who, 
on the 6th of February, marched from Bid- 
nure, and that day advanced as far as the 
village of Fattah-Pettah^ and the next 
morning left that place with the following 
reinfo rcement, viz. of the fecsmd batal- 
lion of the forty- fecond, with fmall detach- 
ments from the ninty-eighth, hundredth, 
and hundred and fecond regiments of his 
C 3 Majefty's 


( 33 ) 

Majefty's troops, amounting in the whole, 
to upwards of fix hundred Europeans, and 
the fecond grenadier and fifteenth batallions 
of Bombay fepoys, with four battering 
cannon, two field- pieces, and a howitzer. 

Having reached Annantpore on the pth, 
the following letter of inftrucUons from 
Brigadier General Mathews, was then re- 
ceived by Lieutenant Colonel Campbell. 


" I am glad you have marched, 
" becaufe the battalion, which is now on 
*' its route back from Annantpore, will 
" have your afliftance. Doolies fhould have 
" bee a fent you by the Commiflary. Muf- 
" kets, ^ammunition, &c. you have enough 
" for the prefent purpofe ; neverthelefs, for 
" fear of emergencies more will be fent, 
" nor will provifions be forgotten. 

" I hope you will not fail to give {Irkl 
" orders againfl plundering, or deftroying 
" the camp-cattle ; for Captain Alflon has 
" given directions for fome of the bullocks 

" to 

( 39 ) 

ei to be killed, which were appointed for 
" carrying provifions for your detachment* 

" Artillery will be fent to-morrow, and 
*' I hope you will keep the communication 
" free, for the fecurity of your march. 
" The guides were delivered to Colonel 
" M'Leod, who I fuppofe are with you. 
' Two others now attend- you. 

" The enemy, fo I underftood by the 
*' deferters, are Nat Summogah, to the 
" amount of feven hundred horfe, and 
" about one thoufand two .hundred fepoys, 
" befides four thoufand peons, and you 
" have a fufficient detachment to beat 
" them ; and if they will not deliver up 
" Annantpore, you have alfo fufficient ar- 
^ tillery to force them. 

" The enemy, being conne<^ed, there 
44 will be no occalion to advance Captain 
" M' Culloch's battalion as ordered; but 
*' on fecuring Annantpore with a proper 
" garrifon, you may march your party 
64 to beat up their camp. 

C 4 " Wifh- 

( 4 ) 

61 Wiming you to be tender of the pro- 
** perty of the inhabitants, I would avoid 
" taking their cattle : but in cafe you can- 
" not be otherwife fupplied, I would have 
' you fend a regular party, not to {hoot 
*' the cattle, but to drive them to your 
" camp for your regular fupplies. The 
" country about Annantpore and Sum^ 
" mogah abounds with cattle, and from 
** thence the city of Bidnure muft alfo be 
" ferved, -- . 

" I enclofe you an order, which you 
* 4 will be pleafed to publish and make 
*' known to the army, and to all the fol- 
* fi lowers of the camp. 

" Some Bazar people, who were to ac- 
<c company, but are now afraid to join you, 
*' being apprehenfive they may be either 
" prefled, or their bullocks killed, I mail 
** take upon me to quiet their fears, and fb 
" perfuade them to proceed with you. 

" Pleafe to caution your men againft 
f * ftraggling from the camp, or entering far 

' in- 

( 41 ) 

" into the woods ; for the enemy will very 
** probably lie in wait to deflroy them. 

Wifhing you fuccefs, 

I am, Sir, 
your moft obedient Servant, 



February 8/, 1783. 

Without delay, after the communication 
of thefe inftructionb* to the other adting 


* Previous alfo to the attack on the place, there were or- 
ders of the fame date and place, from the General to the 
troops, which were publickly read to them, and are as 

follows : 


To all Officers and others, under the command of Brigadier- 
General Mathews : 

41 You are 'hereby llriftly forbid to moleft the Bazar people, 
'* or the inhabitants of the country in any manner, or on 
" any pretence whatfoever, either by preffing them t carry 
" burdens, or by taking from them their cattle ; or in fliort 
" by depriving them of their liberty, or property in any 
*' fhape, as you fhall anfwer the difobedience of thefe orders 
*' to me. 




( 4* ) 

officers, and army in general, a battery was 
conilrucl'ed with the utmoft celerity ; and, 
being finifhed by day-break, was opened on 
the moFning of the 151!!, againfr, the fort, 
and with fuch effectual fuccefs, that in a few 
hours the breach appeared practicable, and 
preparations were made for a general aflault, 

I rmift here ftop for a moment to premife, 
that I am now come to that crifis, on which 
refts the moil material charge brought 
agamil the army^by Lieutenant Sheen, or 
more properly by a certain fet of reftlefs 
a-nd, evil-minded men, who acl: behind the 
curtain ; and who probably made ufe of 
'this young Officer, as a tool for accomplifh- 
ang their b.afe and mifchievous purpofes. 

And thefe orders were further enforced on the nth of Ee- 
fcruairy, 1783, by Major Campbell at Annantpore, as may 
appear by the following notice : 

^Injor Campbell hopes that the above orders will be ft rift ly 
attended to; and likewile that the repented orders againft 
plundering, will be implicitly obeyed, as no excufe whntcvcr 
will juftify fuch an unfoldier-like practice. He therefore is 
determined to puniih, with the utmoil feverity, the firft offen- 
der ; and at the Tame rime aflures the troops, that they will be 
furnifhed with provifions as regularly as circumftances can 


43 ) 

<< When a. practicable breach," Mr. Sheer* 
fays, " was effected, orders were iffued foe 
" ftorming and giving no quarter, which 

' was immediately executed; and every 
" man was put to the fword, except one 
" horfeman, who made his efcape, after 
*.' being wounded in three different parts." 

To this bold and daring afTertion, Khali 
give the mcft peremptory denial ; and in, 
order to enforce the right, I may be fuppof- 
ed to have to that privilege, I fhall here 
copy with the utmoft fidelity, the proceed- 
ings of the troops, who were employed 
in that fervice, from a Journal of the fcene 
of aclion ; and do appeal for its accuracy, 
and my veracity, to thofe gentlemen 
who w r ere prefent, and whofe rank in all 
refpects is fuperior to that of Mr. -Sheen, of 
courfe intitles them to an equal, if not 
better claim to the public confidence. 

The ftorming party was commanded by 
Captain Dalyell, of the forty-fecond, and 
confifted of the Flank companies of that 
and the hundreth Regiment. The befieged 
made little refiftance, and, in their panic, 
4 fled 

( 44 ) 

fled with the utmofl precipitation into the 
inner gateway. Our troops immediately 
ru filing forwards with bayonets fixed in 
purfuit of them, forced open the wicket 
of the gate, and gained entrance; whilft 
Others, afcending the Breach, efcaladed 
the walls in different places. A confiderable 
{laughter foon enfued among thofe of the 
enemy, who had the temerity to oppofe the 
fuperior valour of the aflailants. It muft, 
however, be obferved, that the officers 
tifed every precaution in their power to pre- 
vent any acts of cruelty ; but it is very well 
known, efpecially to military men, how di- 
ficult it is to reftram the impetuofity of 
troops at their firft onfet, and particularly 
when they happen to be compofed of men, 
who differed as much in fentiments and 
language, as in drefs and complexion. Ne- 
verthelefs, it is evident the Englifli troops 
behaved on the occafion with becoming fpi- 
rit, difdaining to take any cruel advantage 
of the enemy's confternation, and confe- 
quently diforder, in their defeat. 

The garrifon of Annantpore before the 
fiege, as well, according to the information 


( 45 ) 

of the enemy themfelves, as from our own 
obfervations, confifted of about four hun- 
dred men, and the number of thofe who fell 
in the aflault, were about two hundred and 
twenty. The prifoners amounted to one 
hundred and eighty, among whom many 
were wounded; and thefe were received in- \ 
to our own hofpitals, where they experi- 
enced the lame care and attention we are 
wont to give our own countrymen, and iu 
their convalefcent ftate they were releafedas 
the reft were. 

From the {lender refinance made by the 
garrifon in the aflaulf, the lofs of the En- 
glifh was inconfiderable. I mould have re- 
marked, that inch of the enemy as were 
.made prifoners, had been exchanged for the 
four perfons, who carried our flags of truce 
to the fort. It appeared after taking of it, 
that thefe men had been put in irons, and 
(ent to Summogah, another Fort, upwards 
of thirty miles diftant from Annan'porc, 
At firft, it was reported by the enemy, 
that they had been taken by, them in a 
fortie, but this falfehood refuted, their ex- 
change was brought about by t'ue humane 


( 46 ) 

jdifpofition of Captain M' Culioch, who 
gave a fum of money to the man, who in- 
formed him of their fituation, and this was 
the per Ion , who had chiefly affifted him iii 
negotiating their exchange. 

But if we give credit to Mr. Sheen, this 
could not navebeen the realftate of affairs, jon 
the reduction of Annantpore. He boldly af- 

v fibres us " that a moft mocking fpectacie 
" then prefented itfelf to. the aflonimed eye ; 
*' upwards of four hundred beautiful women, 
" Jlabbed 'with the bayonet, expired, or <were 
" expiring within each others arms, whilft 
" the private foldiers continued revelling 
*' in all manner of excefs, having firiit 
** outrageoufly defiled their bodies and 
" next plundered them of all their jewels." 
He does not, pofitively, fay that the officers 
countenanced them in thefeacls of barbarity ; 
but faintly exprefles himfelf, that they were 
not able to re (train them, as if tacitly they 

. approved what was done. 

It muft be a fine army indeed ! where 
there is no fubordination, no refpeft for 
command, and where the private foldier 


47 ; 

can dare to tell his officer, he will obey 
only when it may he convenient to. hun* 
But why do nations en acl mutiny laws, and 
think it rational to enforce them with ri- 
gour ? In vain they do it, if every foUHer 
was of the difpofition of thofe, fo prepdf- 
teroufly reprefented by Mr, Sheen. Stilf, 
you will fay, that fuch palpable calumny, 
and wilful mifreprefentatioit of fa 61s, might 
admit of fome degree of exte'nuation, as 
coming from fo contemptible a perfon, as 
the author of fo wicked an afperfion, \vhofe 
credit, it is to be hoped, can never miilead 
any reader. The hiftorian, I make no douh?, 
will never rely on fuch information, efpe- 
cially if circumfpeft in weighing the merit 
of his authorities. If otherwife difpoled, 
he may, indeed, in the fpirit of a partv wri- 
ter, propagate error for truth, and obtrude 
upon his readers a ftore of fanciful inveir- 
tions, which the ignorant and malevolent 
are always ready to circulate. Acid to tnis, 
that the mifchief increafes, and few mav 
refute the miftakes they are led into, when 
they read of tranfaclions and events in verv 

- ^ 

diftant regions. We may labour alfo under 
no fmall difficulty to learn the true ftate-of 



thofe occurrences, which daily pafs round 
us; as it may happen, that the more inti- 
mately we are concerned in any tranfaction, 
the more abfurdly we may find it difcufled 
by mere conjectural knowledge in the pub- 
lic accounts of it. In the preceding cafe, 
as matters have been reprefented in England, 
the Public were taught to regard the fate of 
General Mathew r s, and the unfortunate gen- 
tlemen, who were taken prifoners with him 
at Bidnure, rather as malefactors, condem- 
ned by the wrath of heaven, than as men, 
who glorioufly fuffered in the caufe of their 
country. But can any believe it ? Is it pro- 
bable ? or, has it been the practice of the 
Britifh nation in Hindooflan, cruelly to maf- 
facre innocent women and children ? From 
my own knowledge of the officers employed 
on the fervice, I am clear that they were 
incapable of aflenting to fuch an act. 

That fome few women and children of 
Annantpore were unfortunately killed du- 
ring the fevere cannonade, or in the aflault 
of the place, is a circumftance not to be 
denied. It was abfolutely unavoidable in 
fuch a fituation : but that they were rudely 

i put 

( 49 ) 

to the bayonet, from the bafe motive of 
plundering or defiling them, is entirely with- 
out foundation. From the teftimony of 
feveral gentlemen, refpedtable for candour 
and integrity, who were on that feryice, 
it may be depended on that no more than fix 
women and children were unfortunately v 
killed, owing to their having been expofed 
to our fire promifcuou fly with thegarrifon : 
And fo far from any kind of violence 
having been offered to the perfons of the 
women, on the night after the capture of 
the place, a houfe was allotted for their re- 
ception, and a guard of our Sepoys was or- 
dered for their protection. The next morn- 
ing, they were conducted by an efcort 
beyond the limits of the fort, with per- 
mirlion to proceed from Annantpore where- 
ever they pleafed. 

Lieutenant Sheen further fays, " I had 
<c alrnoft forgot to mention, that fome of 
" the women, rather than be torn from 
" their relations, threw themfelves into 
large tanks, where they were drowned." 
While credulity prevails, there will always 
be abundance of falmoods propagated by 
D artful 

artful and defigning men; and there is 
nothing fo improhable as will not be be- 
lieved by fome. But I am not here oblig- 
ed to rely on the information of others* 
as I can, from my own knowledge and 
obfervation relate facts, which, I truft, 
muft fpeak to the common fenfe of man* 
kind, and refute every fyllable that has 
been published by Mr/ Sheen, relative to 
the tranfa&ions of the army at Annant- 

Lieutenant Sheen alfo adds : " That the 
V " troops were afterwards feverely repri- 
" manded for their licentious behaviour." 
This too I pronounce to be equally falfe 
and groundlefs; for, fo far from having been 
reprimanded for licentioufnefs, the army 
received the thanks* of their commander, 


* Extra?! from the Central orders, iffued ly Major Campld!, 

at Ann ant pore i February i6/Z> 1783. 

*' MAJOR CAMPBELL returns his thanks to the army, for 
' their fpirited conduct, yeftcrday ; and particularly his 
* acknowledgements to Captain Dalyell, and the Officers and 
' non-commifTioncd Officers and Privates of the Flankr 
' companies of the foity-fecond R.egimcnt, who headed the 
' florm ; but flrongly recommends in future, .when the Buy- 
" onet muft be made ufe of, that a fl'.ct fliould n^vcr be 
"' fired'." 


( 5' ) 

for their fpirited exertions and good conduct 
during the attack. The fabricator of ca- 
lumnies, fo eafily refuted, is more anobjecl: 
of pity than of refentment, unlefs we fup- 
pofe that his affertions are not fo much 
the refult of ignorance as of a malignant and 
perverfe difpofition. When a charge, fo fe- 
fioiis and deliberate, is insinuated againft a 
body of. men, many of whom were of high 
rank and character, furely fome more plau- 
fible reafons mould be afligned than the 
mere ipfe dlxlt of Lieutenant Sheen. Such 
dreams of aflafii nation, muft therefore be 
Confldered as the illufion of a difordered 
brain, or he muft be held forth to public 
infamy for having gratified the predominant 
malignancy of his mind, in wilfully taking 
occafion to calumniate and vilify his com- 
mander in chief; and if fo, I cannot help 
reminding him, that he is amenable to 
D ^ the 

The ftri(5li"ft orders were alfo at the fume time given for pre- 
venting difturbances of any fort ; and accordingly the grt-ateft 
attention was paid by the officers to keep the foidiers from mo- 
lefting any of the inhabitants, as any four.d fo offending, were 
to be inflantly pumflicd. 

C 5* ) 

the martial law, for the different parts of 
his conduct, which are come to our know- 
ledge, and which have been either {lightly 
mentioned or expofed, in the foregoing pa- 
ges. For when a perfon, to whatever 
defcription of men he may belong, whether 
civil, ecclefiaftical or military, fets himfelf 
above the laws, and thofe regulations which 
enjoin a due fubordination, he ought to be 
difcountenanced by the whole community. 
And has not the author of this ma- 
licious defamation, done every thing in his 
power to annihilate that confidence, which 
ought to be placed in the commander in 
chief of an army, by expofing him, and 
every officer and foldicr under him, to 
public contempt and hatred ? has he not 
reprefented them as tyrants ; and in 
fome refpects, more cruelly oppreflive than 
the inftruments of Turkifh defpotifm ? has 
he not accufed them of having violated the 
law of nations, forgotten their duty, tar- 
nimed their honour, and proftituted their 
confciences like venal wretches fully difpofed 
to opprefs the defencelefs inhabitants of a 
country? and not only to opprefs, but, for 
i the 

53 ; 

the bafeft lucre, to imbrue their hands In 
the blood of innocent women and children. 

It is a known and nniverfdlrule of war, 
amongft civilized nations, that places ta- 
ken by ftorm, and without any capitulation, 
are expofed to all the miferies, which the 
conquerors may choofe to inflict. 

Annantpore was in this horrid fituation ; 
confequently the lives of the inhabitants, 
with every thing belonging to them, were 
entirely at the mercy of the Englifh troops. 
But chriftianity, humanity, the dignity of 
the Britim nation, and their own feelings as 
men, induced them not to exert the right of 
conqueft in its utmoft rigour ; though two 
of their Flags of truce fent into the fort 
at different times, had been detained, the 
bearers put in irons, and caft into a dun- 
geon, contrary to the laws of war. 

I do not here pretend to define what is 
generally understood by the laws of war. 
Civilized nations ought not to adopt the laws 
or cuftoms of other countries, which are 
yet in a flate of barbarity. It will there- 
D 3 fore 

( 54 ) 

fore, be fufficient to obferve, that there are 
nations whp confider themielves as autho- 
rized by their own laws, or rather caprices, 
tp put to death every individual belonging 
to the enerny, who may fall into their 
hands, without regard to age orfex, 

But without further obfervation on this 
matter, we may conclude the conduct of a 
General to be cruel, when the mifchkf 
done to the enemy, exceed in a confiderable/ 
degree, the advantages to be derived from, 

Of the many characterises which diftin*- 
guifh a civilized flate of iociety, the moil 
endearing is that of humanity, difplayed 
by nations at war with each other, in the 
treatment of their captives. To public 
virtue may be added, the private feelings 
of the heart, ever melting into companion 
at fight of another's woe ; men, who fo feel, 
may be called citizens of the world ! be- 
caufe pach fellow-creature in diftrefs, be- 
comes the object pf their pity and regard. 
Their fentiments, therefore, muft not only 
be grounded on the principles of morality, 


( 55 ) 

but may likewife derive additional force 
from mnxims of policy and prudential 
motives, as amid the various and uncer- 
tain revolutions of human affairs, we may 
contemplate the misfortunes of others, with 
the eye of pity to-day, and to-morrow, per- 
haps, being placed in the fame fituation our- 
felves, may look for a return of the confo 
lation we have given, 

In every line and rank of life, that affec- 
tion of the mind which we denominate fym- 
pathy, ought to be cherifhed; but by noclafs 
of men more than thofe who follow the pro- 
feffion of arms. The fcenes in which foldiers 
are often unavoidably engaged, tend to deaden, 
if not wholly to eradicate the fentiments of 
pity and remorfe. There are, however, fome 
difpoiitions fo tender and humane, as to 
reiift the ill effects of the cruel fpectacles 
which foldiers are fometjmes obliged to 
witnefs. Sertorius, Brutus, Titus, and many 
other heroes of antiquity, though they 
fpent the greater part of their lives in camps, 
feem never to have loft fight of their natu- 
rul humanity. But, dqubtlefs, difpofitions 
naturally cruel are rendered more callous, 
by fcenes of blood. Caligula, Nero, Domi- 
P 4 

t:an, and many others amongft the anticnts 
became, by habit, wholly infenfibk to luf- 
ferings of their fellow-creatures. 

The ferocity of thefe latter, and other- 
like fcourgers of the human-race, increafed 
to fuch a degree, that they feemed to have 
been no lefs delighted with acts of cruelty, 
than the former with thofc of benevo- 
lence. Hannibal was naturally cruel ; and 
the fuperiority of Scifio's character over 
that of the Carthaginian, was owing more to 
his, benevolence and humanity, than to his 
extraordinary fuccefs. in arms, 

I have been led into thefe reflexions by 
the cruel and iniidious treatment which fo 
many diftinguimed characters experienced, 
who unfortunately fell into the hands of 
that difgrace of the human form, Tippoo 
Sultan. He, among other moderns of the 
fame character, may be faid to be a living 
example of Eaftern barbarity. Even his 
lather, the implacable Hyder Ali Khan, 
has been exceeded by him in acts of the 
moft unparalelled cruelty ; his favage man- 

V 57 ) 

ncrs yielding only to the bafenefs and ma* 
ligniry of his heart. 

But humanity, as 'well as political con- 
federations forbid our attempting to retali- 
ate his unexampled perfidy and cruelty. 
We were, therefore, obliged to reft content- 
ed with the more lenient mode of verbal re- 
mouftrance to effect the releafe of thofe 
gentlemen, whom he detained againffc the 
laws of war, and the dictates of humanity. 

Thefe confiderations, I truft, were pro- 
perly reprefented to him, and urged with 
that peculiar fpirit and energy which the 
nature of the cafe fo ftrongly required. All 
we have to lament is, that his hardened 
foul refitted their influence ; and on that 
account it is that I wifh to exhibit him as 
truly infamous and deteftable. 

In conjunction with him, our indignation, 
ihould rife againfl the fhameful conduct of 
the French Governor of Cuddalore, and 
of M. Suffrein. Not all the reputation for 
activity, perfeverance and valour, which 
the latter acquired in India, will (kreen this 


part of his conduct from deteftation. Con- 
trary to the inftinft of humanity, the fpi- 
rit ofClmftianity, and the honour of a fol- 
dier, he gave up to his infidel ally the Bri- 
tim prifoners, whom the fortune of war 
had put in his power ; when, acquainted as 
he was with the difpofition of Tippoo, he 
muft have known that he was fending them 
to mifery or death. What can \vipe away 
the {lain of fo infamous a transaction ? Who 
that hears the ftory of thofe unhappy men, 
can refrain from imprecating vengeance on 
all who were inftrumental to their fuller- 
ings ? As well on Suffrein and Tippoo, as 
on thofe among ourfelves, who having had 
it in their power to relieve them, left them 
to their fate without fuccouror protection. 

But let us for a moment turn our eyes 
from fo difagreeable a picture, and com- 
fort ourfelves with the pleafing retrofpedl: 
of the genuine Britim character, in which 
every worthy and generous fentiment, 
fprings up and flourishes, as in its na- 
tive foil. Agreeable to your requeft in 
my next, I promife myfelf the pleafure of 
being able to furnifh you with a fuccinct 


( 59 ) 

account of the moft remarkable events 
that happened in the late fiege of Mangu- 
lore, and 'till then, with the utmoft at- 
tachment and refpedt, 

J remain, c. 


( 61 ) 


Calcutta, February 20, 1787. 

S I R, 

ACCORDING to my promife, I 
have here delineated for your inspection, a 
{ketch of thofe important military opera- 
tions on the weftern fide of India, which 
Succeeded the recapture of Bidnure, by 
Tippo Sultan, and I wifh, for your fake, it 
had been a fmifhed picture, but then it would 
have exceeded the limits of thofe ideas I 
commenced with. However, as I elucidate 
all the tranfa&ions of the (iege of Mangu- 
lore, you will have enough, for fuch informa- 
tion as vou defire to communicate to others. 
The reiterated proofs of friendfhip with which 
you have honoured me, encourage me fur- 
ther to hope, that though at times you muft 
experience pain, you will feel that pain pal- 
liated by pleating reflections on thofe re- 

C 62 ) 

markable occurrences wherein Great Britain 
has been fo eflentially interefted in this 
part of Hindooftan. 

F Mangulore, otherwife called Cortal Bunder? 
isfituated in about 13. 01' north latitude, 
and 72. oo'. eaft longitude from London. 
It is about one hundred miles diftant from Se- 
* lingapatam, the capital of Tippoo Sultan's 
dominions. As lying within the tropics,- 
it may be imagined, that it experiences all 
the inconveniencies of fultry heat, ufual 
in thofe latitudes ; but the refreming fea- 
breeze, which daily cools the air, renders 
it not only falubrious, but exceedingly plea- 
fant and agreeable to European conftitutions. 
The port is commodious, and fufficiently 
extenfive to contain any number of vef- 
fels ; the only defect is, that there is not a 
fufficient depth of water for large mips on 
the bar. Notwithftanding this difadvantage, 
there cannot be a better ntuation for trade, 
being nearly the central part of the coaft 
of Malabar; for by commanding,- as it 
does, the greater part of the commerce of 
the Bidnure and Myfore provinces, it will 


always continue to be a place of the ut^ 3 

When the country was governed by the , 
Kings of Canara, it was the moft charm- / 
ing, fertile, and opulent of any in Afia. 
The whole coaft is copioufly watered by a 
number of rivers, flowing from fources 
in the Ghaut-Mountains, and emptying 
themfelves into the fea. It is likewife an 
almoft inexhauftible granary for rice, with 
which it fupnlies the coafts of Arabia and 
Perfia. The trade, however, carried on from 
Mangulore has been much on the decline, 
(ince the country fubmitted to the yoke 
of Hyder Ali Khan. 

The fortrefs of Mangulore, is fituated o-n 
an eminence, oppofite the entrance of the 
river, and this appears to be the fpot where 
the Portugueze Factory formerly flood. 
Hyder, defirous of conitru<5ting a citadel 
for the defence of the harbour and city, em- 
ployed for that purpofe, in the year 1774, 
M. Catini, a French engineer in his fer- 
vice. The iituation, neverthelefs, was ill 
cliofen, and the ftru&ure, which is accord- 
ing to the Eaflern manner of fortification, 


appears by experience to have been extreme* 
ly injudicious, and but ill calculated to 
withftand the force of heavy artillery, and 
the European method of carrying on ap- 

During the war of 1768, between the 
Englifh and Hyder, an army was fent 
from Bombay, to attack his pofleflions on 
that fide of India. The refiftancethey met 
with being weak, Mangulore was eafily re- 
duced. Intelligence of the lofs reaching 
Hyder, who was at that time with his grand 
army in the Carnatic, he inftantly difpatch- 
ed his fon Tippoo Saheb with a conlider- 
able force to recover the place. Tippoo 
having with great art concealed his route, 
he moved along with incredible rapidity 
towards the coaft of Malabar, and arrived 
in a fhort time at his place of defoliation. 
His fudden and unexpected appearance 
communicated fuch diforder and panic 
among the Englifh troops, that though en- 
camped on a very favourable fituation for 
defence, the ground being high, particu- 
larly in front, and commanding an exten- 


five view of the adjacent country, they not- 
withfbnding abandoned their pofl, and 
flying with the utmoft precipitation, were 
purfued to the gates of Mangulore, by the 
enemy's cavalry, w r ho entered the placs 
pell mell, with the fugitives. 

This attack was executed with fo much 
diligence and addrefs by Tippoo, and pro- 
duced fuch great diforder among the Eng- 
lifh troops, that very few had time to make 
their efcape on board the fhips ; and their 
mameful flight added to the ardor of the 
enemy, who immediately embarked and 
captured three veiTels before they were able 
to clear the harbour. In this manner the 
whole of the Englim army were made pri- 
foners, confiding of the Commander in 
chief, forty fix officers, about fix 'hundred 
Europeans, and near five thoufand native 
troops, together with the artillery and 

It was not till after the furrender 

of Bidnure in the beginning of 1783, that 

the Englifh became again repofleffed of 

Mangulore. The expedition under Brigadier 

E General 

( 66 ) 

General Mathews* was fo brilliant and fi 
fuccefsful at this period, and fo rapid 
the progrefs of the Englifh. arms on that 
fide of India, that it a-ftonimed and terrified 
their enemies. For befides the province of 
Bidnure, a conqueft was made of almofi 
the whole of the low country, to the weft- 
ward of the Ghauts, extending from Car- 
war to near Cochin, in lefs than fix weeks ; 
the fortrefs of Mangulore, and fome other 
places on the fea-coaft excepted, which 
held out till the months of March and 
April following. 

On the ^ift of January 1783, a detach- 
ment of the army marched from Bidnure 
againfr, Mangulore, with an order from. 
Hyat Saheb, late Jemautdar of the province, 
to the Killahdaur of that fortrefs, de firing 
him to furrender it to the En glim army. 
This detachment having reached that place 
on the 6th of February, the garrifon 
was fummonedj but the governor refufed 
complying with the order, and prepared to 
ftand on his defence. The Englim not 
venturing to proceed to an immediate at* 
tack, encamped about three miles from 


the fort, till they were joined by a rein* 
forcement, with the battering cannon from 
Cundapore. On their approach to the 
fort, they met with confiderable oppofi- 
tion from the enemy, who fprung feveral 
mines by which we loft upwards of feventy 
men : but notwithstanding the inferiority 
of our force, the enemy were driven from 
theirout-pofts and batteries, and obliged to 
retire within the fort, 

The operations, however. Went on but 
flowly, or were rather fufpended, till the 
sift, when General Mathews arrived from / 
Bidnure, with a confiderable reinforcement 
of Europeans and Sepoys. And the Kil- 
lahdaur mewing an intention to ftand a 
liege, the place was compleatly invefted. 
On the 8th of March, a battery of five 
eighteen pounders was opened on the fouth, 
with a mortar battery on the north fide, 
the former at about one hundred and fifty 
yards diftance from the rampart. About 
fix o'clock in the afternoon, the enemy be- 
ing apprehen five that the breach was prac- 
ticable, and that our troops would attempt 
to carry the place byaflault at night, Ruf- 
E a turn 

( 68 ) 

turn Ali Beg, the Killahdaur, fent a flag 
of truce to the General, with propofals 
for furrendering on terms of capitulation : 
which being agreed to, it was ftipulated 
that the private property of every denomi- 
nation fhould be fecured to the enemy, with 
permiffion to depart wherever they thought 

The fort was accordingly fufrendered the 
next morning, and at this, and other fea- 
ports of Tippoo Sultan's dominions on the 
coafl of Malabar, twelve mips of war,* 
of from 64 to 36 guns, moft of which were 
on the (locks, and their hulls nearly fmifhed, 
tinder the direction of European artificers : 


* Docks may be conftrucled on different parts of this coaft, 
Sufficient not only for repairing, but building (hips of the 
line. To thefe it is eafy to bring excellent timber from the 
interior parts of the country, fo that whatever relates to build- 
ing or repairing may be done as perfectly in as England, The 
"Teke Ti-ee, called by Fry<r,the Indian oak, grows in moft of theie 
parts ; and is efteemed better for its durability in water, than the 
Englifli oak. Ships built of that wood, and ufed in the country 
trade, laft thirty or forty years, and fome hare been known 
to laft niuch longer* 

\vith thirty other veffels of inferior force, 
and about one hundred Gallivats. and armed 
bonts of different denominations, together 
with immenfe quantities of naval frores, 
and other valuable articles fell into the 
hands of the captors. 

On the yth of April following, Deckalor 
Deckuli, a ftrong fort fituated on the fea- 
coaft, to the fouthward of Mangulore, was 
taken by ftorm after a vigorous refinance, 
and the greater part of the garrifon fell' in 
the affault. The lofs of the Englifh was 
very inconfiderable, being only four Euro- 
pean privates killed, one officer, one fer- 
jeant, and feven privates wounded. 

General Mathews returned to Bidnure 
immediately after adjufting the capitula- 
tion of Mangulore. And about this time 
intelligence was received from the coaft of 
Coromandel,that Tippoo Sultan had fentthe 
greater part of his army out of the^ Carnatiq 
through the Changama-pafs ; and it was ex^ 
pedted that he himfelf would foon follow, 
and ufe,hisutmoft endeavours to recover 
his valuable pofleffionsin theBidnure coun- 
B 3 try, 

I 7 ) 

try. At this time the Englim army 
was difperfed in fo many different de- 
tachments, that the General found him- 
felf unequal to an enemy of force, either 
in the held, or in any of his quarters. All 
his brilliant victories were, therefore, far 
from being either folid or decifive ; and 
-ieemed merely calculated to dazzle, or de- 
ceive thofe wliQ were remote from the fcene 
pf action, 


The intelligence of Tippoo's approach, 

proved 'exactly true, for on the 6th of April, 
the vanguard of his army appeared before 
Bidnure ; and the place being foon aftey 
clofely invented, after a fiege 'of feven- 
teen days, propofals were iriade by the 
General for a furreader by capitulation. 
Nothing could have been more acceptable 
to Tippoo, than this proportion. It accor- 
ded with all his views, and being complied 
with, the garrifon marched cut: of the fort 
with the honors of war, o.n the 28th of 
April, and piled their arms on the glacis. 
j The articles particularly fpecified, that the 
General, when joined by the garrifons of 
Annautpore and Cowladroog, was to be at 


( 7' ) 

full liberty to march unmolefled, with all 
private property from Bidnure to Goa, by 
way of Seda/bagur^ and thence to embark 
for Bombay. But thefe conditions, were not 
attended to, the garrifon were efcorted by a 
ftrong body of the enemy to a tank, a- 
bout the diftance of half a mile from the 
city gate, where that brave but unfortunate 
body of men were furrounded by the ene- 
my's horfe and foot, fentinels being pott- 
ed on every {ide, beyond whom no perfon 
had permiffion to pafs, The regulars after- 
wards proceeded to difarm, and force them 
to become prifoners at difcretion. It was in 
vain to expoftulate on fo bafe a violation of 
the moft folemn treaty, contrary to the 
adopted rules of war. The garrifon being 
difarmed were fent into the interior parts of 
the country, linked two and two, and con- 
fined in feparate ftrong forts loaded with 
fetters. Who, pofleffing humanity or a 
love of juflice, can withold the tear of fym- 
pathy, to the memory of thofe brave men, 
facrificed in the fervice of their country, 
and claiming all the grateful remembrance, 
and honourable teftimony, which the living 
can pay to departed worth ? 

E 4 About 

( 7* ) 

About the latter end of April, the Na- 
bob fent a detachment of his army amount- 
ing to about 4000 men horfe and foot, who 
defcended the Ghauts, under the command 
ofHuffain Ali Khan, and encamped with- 
in four miles of Mangulore. Towards 
midnight on the 6th of May, Colonel Camp- 
bell with about 1400 regular troops, de 
termined to fuprize their camp, and having 
reached them about day break, after an ir- 
fegular fire which continued for a few mi- 
nutes, they gave way and fled with preci- 
pitation, leaving behind them four fix 
/pounders, field artillery, with the travelling 
carriages compleat, and 1 80 draught-bul- 
locks. Their lofs in killed and w r ounded is 
uncertain, but fuppofed to have 'been iricpn- 
jlderable. That of the Englifh, was two 
European privates killed, one Captain, and 

one fubaltern, with one private wounded. 


This defeat, however, accelerated Tip- 
poo's march. Having put the garrifon of 
Bidnure in order, and fettled the affairs of 
the country, and flufhed with the in- 
glorious victory he had gained over Ge- 
neral Mathews, he afiembled the My fere 


( 73 ) 

army, and with the aid of his allies, the 
French, he directed his further operations 
towards the coafl of Malabar, determined 
to reduce the other garrifons and polls 
which ftill remained in porTeflion of the Eng- 
lifh, on that fide of the peninfula. 

Having met with no material oppofition 
on his march, the vanguard of his army 
reached the heights of Cuddrie, -within four 
miles of Mangulore on the ipth of May. V 
The day following, by intelligence receiv- 
ed from deferters, the main body of his ar- 
my was found to amount to upwards of one 
hundred and thirty thoufand fighting men, 
fix hundred of whom were French European 
infantry, under the command of Colonel 
Coffigny, together with a troop of French ** 
difmounted cavalry, and a corps confifring 
partly of natives, and Europeans of different 
nations, under the command of Col. Lally,* 
and Monf. Boodena a Captain in the French 


*Col. Lally,is faid to be a native of Rumilly, a town of 
Savoy. In the war before the laft, he left his native country 
in cjuefl of better fortune, and entered in the fervice of the 


( 74 ) 

fervice. Tippoo had befides with him a 
confiderable field train of artillery, and 
about one hundred and twenty pieces of 


French Eaft India Company, in which he firft became a fer- 
jeant. By his activity and induitry, he loon acquired a 
fmall competency towards his future fupport in life ; but at 
theclofe of that war, the fliip in which he was returning to 
Europe, being taken by the Englifti, he loft both his liberty and 
the fruits of his induftry. On the return of peace, he was ex- 
changed, and from London he again patted over to India. 
Sometime after, chagrined by the treatment he had formerly 
received, he quitted the fervice of the Company, and enter- 
ed himfelf in a military party called the Swifs, who hired 
their fervices to the Indian Princes. By his military talents 
and bravery he focn diftinguiihed himfelf from his comrades ; 
and in the year 1775, whilft in the ferwice of the Nabob of 
Adoni, he was honoured by the King of France with the 
title of Major by brevet. Afterwards he commanded a corps 
of 4000 men, and received a fecond mark of favour from his 
moft Chriftian Majefty, who fent him a brevet commiffiou 
of Colonel of infantry, with the Crofs of St. Louis. 

The Englifli knowing the attachment 'of Colonel Lally to 
the French, and being perfuaced that he was active in under- 
mining their intereft with the Nabob of Adoni, intrigued fa 
fuccefsfullv with that Prince, that he was obliged to quit his 
'fervice, but in a very honourable manner. He then went 
with his corps to Nizam Ali, NuLob of the Decan, and bro- 
ther to the Nabob of Adoni. The Englifh purfued him it ill at 
this court, and at laft he offered his fervice to Hyder A]!, 
whofe efteem and confidence he foon gained, by his gallant 
manner of behaviour at the head of his corps, which confifird. 
chiefly of Europeans. 

( 75 ) 

battering cannon of different calibers. Tha 
whole of this formidable force being arrived, 
they occupied all the heights within three 
and four miles diftance of the garrifon of 
Mangulore. A river lay on the right and 
left, and their encampment extended about 
four or five miles in a femicircular direc- 

The chief command of the Englifh for- 
ces on the coaft of Malabar, was at this 
critical conjuncture provifionally conferred 
by the Prefident and Select Committee of, 
Bombay, on Colonel Campbell. As it 
happened, he was extremely unfortunate 
refpecting intelligence concerning this ra- 
pid movement, and unexpected approach 
of the enemy : for notwithstanding the ful- 
left information had been obtained from the 
inhabitants of the country, as well as 
from deferters, of the furrender of Bidnure, 
and the captive ft ate of General Mathews 
and his nrmy,it was hardly believed at Man- 
gulore, till the place was compleatly inveft- 
ed. There was another affair of the utmofl 
confequence, which deferves to be equally 
lamented, that no attention had been paid 

2 tO 

to the means of procuring a proper fupply 
of provisions and other neeeflaries, both for 
the fecurity of tlie garri;b:i, and againft the 
Monfoon, which was juft then fetting in; 
befides which no care had been taken to 
repair the defects of the fortifications. In 
&ort the'wants in every department, were 
fo ihamefully guarded againft, that the fu- 
ture profpeft of the troops, now became 
truly alarming. It is true, this want of 
fore fight cannot be faid? to have originated 
fblely with the commander in chief; ftill 
he might be blamed for confiding too 
much in the near approach of the heavy 
rains, and the prefumption he entertained, 
that the enemy could not think of a ferious 
attack at fo late a feafon of the year, and 
under fuch obvious difadvantages. We 
may, however, to thefe circumdances im- 
pute the lofs of many brave officers and 
men. They were too much expoled to tho 
enemy's fire ; and the want" of a fufficient 
number of houfes, and the fcarcity of ma- 
terials for conftrurling fuitable accom- 
modations for the troops within the walls, 
were afterwards the caufe of 'great ficknefs 
and defertion. ; . 


( 77 ') 

At' the commencement of the fiege, the 
ftrength of the garriibii confided of about 
five hundred and forty Europeans, and two 
thoufand eight hundred and fifty Sepoys, ^ 
About this time an incident happened, that 
had the enemy been poflTefled of eminent 
courage, or military talents* the confe- 
qucnce mud inevitably have proved fatal 
to the English army, and they would have 
been rendered incapable of winning thofe 
laurels, they afterwards fo glorioufly ac- 
quired. Two battalions of Sepoys, a few 
pieces of light artillery, with an adequate 
number of European gunners, were de- 
tached under Captain Edward Nugent of 
the Company's fervice, to occupy a ftrong 
pofition, fituated about twelve hundred 
^ards eaflward of the fort. This was a very 
extenfive hill. When in poffeffion of Hvder, 
a flight retrenchment had been thrown up 
to the fouthward of it ; and every other 
part except to the weftward, was almoft 
inacceifible. It commanded the two prin- 
cipal roads leading to the town and fortrefs 
of Mangulore ; and on that account only it 
appeared eligible to keep poflcuion of it. 
But though from natural and acquired ad- 

vantages, it might be deemed of equal utility 
and importance, there were weighty mo- 
tives for judging it extremely hazardous, at 
this critical juncture, to retain pofleffion of 
a pofr fo far di ft a lit from the garrifon, and 
of fuch great extent, that the whole of 
our force was not adequate to its defence. 
Befides it was not furnimed with a (ingle 
magazine of ammunition or provifions, nor 
did it afford any water ; and in cafe of an 
attack, its diftance from the garrifon was 
fuch, as rendered it impoffible for them to 
afford it the leaft relief or protection ; and 
confequently the enemy had it in their 
power to cut off the whole detachment. 
But although their different movements 
evidently indicated a fudden attack in that 
quarter, and clearly pointed out the nece 
fity of withdrawing the troops : yet, Co- 
lonel Campbell, contrary to the general 
voice of his officers, and at the ri Ik of the 
lofs of his whole army, founded his hopes 
of defence, on the confidence he had in the 
natural ftrength of the place. 

According to what was expected, at day 
'break on the 23d of May, the enemy open- 

( 79 ) 

ed a battery of four guns upon this out-poft, 
from that part of their encampment which 
lay neareft on one of the oppofite hills. 1m- 
mediatelyafter feveral large columns of their 
troops advanced to a brifk attack, which con- 
tinued about twenty minutes, under 'an in- 
cefiant fire of cannon, muiketry, and rock- 
ets: and fuch was the great fuperiority of the 
enemy over our troops, that the latter 
were forced to abandon their {ration, and 
retreat precipitately towards the fort. Be- 
fore their defperate fituation was perfectly, 
known, the 42d regiment, and a corps 
of Sepoys, were ordered out to fupport 
them ; but this reinforcement was not able 
to reach the hill till its defenders had been 
driven from it in great diforder. The detach- 
ment, however, having joined them, on 
their retreat, the fpirited exertions of the of- 
ficers, by animating the troops, confiderably 
retarded the progrefs of the enemy, and en- 
abled a numberof the fugitives toefcape. The 
behaviour of our Europeans on this occa- 
fion, was by no means fuch as might have 
been expected from troops, who had hither- 
to been particularly diftinguimed for their 
intrepid conduct, and contempt of danger. 


The enemy, thus encouraged by their" fiie- 
cefs, had the temerity to advance within 
musket mot of the covert-way. But as 
foon as the artillery of the garrifon, which 
was directed upon them with the utmoft 
precifion, began to take effect, they quickly 
withdrew to a refpectful diftance. The 
lofs of the Englifh on this occafion, was one 
European officer killed, one wounded, and 
three miffing, with upwards of two hundred 
and fifty Sepoys killed, wounded, and made 
prifoners. Immediately after this unfortu- 
nate bufmefs, all our other ports, except 
the Caik-battery, were evacuated, and the 
whole of the troops withdrawn under cover 
of the cannon of the garrifon. 

It is not furprifmg, that after hazarding 
fo difagreeable an event* the Commander in 
Chief mould endeavour to throw the blame 
from himlelf. The compafs of what was ori- 
ginally intended to be written on this fub- 
jedt, will not permit us to examine into a 
multiplicity of particulars. Still it is but 
juftice to the character of Captain Nu- 
gent to remark, that his bravery and pru- 
dent conduct were equally confpicuous 


( 8' ) 

on this as on every occafion, during the 
courfe of the fiege ; in which it was evident- 
ly apparent, that he was poflefled of the 
greatell profeffional Ikill, as well as the 
moft perfect courage ; and from affidu- 
ous attention to his duty, joined to a real 
knowledge of the fervice, and conftant care 
and precifion in the difcharge of his fubor- 
dinate {ration, it may be truly affirmed, 
that he was not only intitled to every degree 
of praife,but had alfo the mofl indifputable 
claim to promotion. 

The enemy having proved thus far fuc- 
Cefsful in di (lodging our out-poll, it was 
expected with fome confidence, as already- 
mentioned, that the approaching Monfoon 
would oblige them to fufpend their ope- 
rations till the return of the fair feafon. 
In this cafe, our little army muit have been 
perfectly quiet during the continuance of 
the rains. The proximity of Tellicher- 
ry made it eafy, on the change of the fea- 
fon, to tranfmit thence, as well as from 
Bombay, fuch fupplies and reinforcements as 
might enable the garrifon to take the field. 
Thefe were our hopes ; but the enemy, to 
F make 

( 82 ) 

make the rnoft of their advantages over our 
weak flare, comparatively to their own, did 
not remain inactive. The approach of the 
rainy feafon rather added to their ardour^ 
The garrifon was fummoned to furreiider. 
The trenches were opened, and batteries 
erected, well fupplied with European gun- 
ners ; and they began their operations by 
pufhing on the fiege with vigour, under a 
determination of carrying on approaches, at 
the fame time, both to the north and fouth 
of the fort. 

The 4th of June they opened their 
batteries,'un*ler the powerful fire of twelve 
twenty-four pounders, and fome of a fmal- 
ler calibre. Soon after there was an addi- 
tion of feven brafs mortars, from which , 
inftead of fhells, they kept up an inceflan t 
fire, each night from fun-fet to fun-rife, 
throwing large ftones into the fort and 
works, fome of which were upwards of fe- 
venty pounds weight. The damage and 
execution done by them, were in general 
confiderable, and greatly annoyed the gar- 
rifcn. This circumftance likewife enabled 
the enemy to proceed in their approaches, 
during the night, with the greater fecurity, 


and with little lofs, although at times they 
met with fome interruption from our (hells. 

f It has already been obferved en 
that the fortifications of the place, through 
want of the necelTary repairs, were far from 
being in a refpedlable condition ; but the 
deficiency of ftrength was amply fupplie-d by 
the gallantry of thegarrifon, who, entirely 
cut off as they were, from every hope of 
fuccour, nevertheleis perfevered with great 
bravery and refolution, during the whole of 
the rainy feafon, in a determined and noble 
defence. ' The officers and men, when off 
their tour of duty, were conftantly employ- 
ed in conftructing various works for the 
defence of the place ; and all rank?, with 
the utmoft alacrity, participated in the la- 
bour. Captain Sartorius, the chief etigi- v 
neer, with active zeal and diligent affiduity, 
pointed out the neceffity of fuch exertions, 
in a manner that did him the highefl ho- 
nour. This worthy officer, pofleffing the 
moft confumrnate profeffional (kill, wa$ 
cool in danger, decided in diftrefs, and ever 
ready and judicious in his expedients. Such 
is the character of this gentleman, which 
F 2 make? 

( 84 ) 

makes him as defervedly confpicaous in his 
profeffion, as it is [honourable to the indi- 
vidual, and important to the public. 

The artillery of the befiegers, however, 
affifted by the military fcience of the French 
auxiliaries, foon gained an evident fuperio- 
rity, and they were indefatigable in carry- 
ing on their operations ; butthe alertnefs and 
obftinate defence of the garrifon rendered 
caution an obje<5b of neceffity ; and tbge- 
ther with the violent rains which then fre- 
quently fell, could not fail of confiderably 
retarding their approaches. Notwithftand- 
ing thefe impediments, matters were fo far 
advanced, about the beginning of July, as 
to render an attack on the body of the place 
practicable. But although the fortifications 
were reduced to a heap of ruins, yet the 
enemy was repulfed in every attempt to car- 
ry the place by aflault. 


On the 2d pf Auguft notification being 

made by M. Piveron de Morlae, a French 
Envoy with Tippoo Sultan, of the prelimi- 
nary articles of peace being figned at Ver- 
faillts on the 2oth of January, i 785, by the 


Plenipotentiaries of their Britannic and Moft 
ChrifHan Majeftiesjin compliance therewith, 
a ceffation of hoftilities was propofed by 
the Envoy, and agreed to by the Nabob, and 
by Colonel Campbell, in behalf of the Eaft 
India Company's pofleffions on the coaft of 
Malabar. The conditions in general, on 
which it was concluded, were, that all 
things, both within and without the garri-' 
Ton of Mangulore, mould remain in the 
fame fituation in which they were then in, 
for a time particularly fpecified ; and that 
hoftages mould be exchanged for the mu- 
tual performance of that ftipulation. The 
French auxiliaries were therefore obliged 
to withdraw ; but the Nabob perfifting 
in the inveftment of Mangulore, convert- 
ed the fiege into a blockade, and the garri- 
fon were reduced to the greatest diftrefs 
through the want of provisions ; and it was 
evident, though peace was then in agita- 
tion, that he was refolved to ftarve them 
into a fur render. 

The Commander in Chief, on this me- 
lancholy occafion, ufed his utmoft endea- 
vours for re-animating his troops with a 
F 3 fpirit 

( 86 ) 

f pint of perfeverance ; and, for that purpofe, 
he iflued repeated affurances in general or- 
ders, that fpeedy relief was expected from 
Bombay. In this ftate, neverthelefs, they 
remained near four months longer, ^eprefl- 
ed by fatigue, and emaciated with famine. 
Their patience was almoft exhaufted by 
difappointments, and no profped of relief 
from any quarter appearing to confole 
them, was the caufe of ficknefs, and defer- 
tion prevailing in a manner the moft alarm- 

On the morning of the 24th of Novem- 
ber, two fleets appeared, one from the north- 
ward, and the other from the fouthward : 
both flood towards the place, and early in 
the afternoon, the {hips of war took their 
ftations, fo as to cover, in the moft efflclual 
manner, the diiembaikation of the troops. 
From this fleet was expected the relief 
and iuccours, fo long wilhed for, and no- 
thing could equal the pleafure and fpirit 
which elated the garrifon : Joy and confi- 
dence was diffufed over every countenance, 
all bt-ing perfuaded, that their fuffcrings 
were now come to a termination, and that 
they (hould have ample fatisfa&ion of thofe 


( 8? ) 

who had been the caufe of them. And this 
handful of hrave men, whofe noble defence 
had been feldom equalled, and never fur- 
pafled, prepared with alacrity to fecond the 
efforts of their countrymen; even the feeble 
convalefcent, tottering under the weight of 
his arms, boldly flepped forward to offer 
his fervices on this occafion. 

The armament which caufed this infpi- 
ration, was under the convoy of his Ma- 
jefty's mip the Sultan, of 74. guns, Cap- 
tain Mitchel. About five o'clock in the 
afternoon, the two fleets,, confiding in the- 
whole of about 53 fail of (hips and vefiels, 
anchored oppofite the entrance of the har- 
bour. Brigadier general MacLeod was at 
the head of the land forces, ftrong in Euro- 
peans and native troops, with an adequate 
train of artillery; and he might have 
been further fupported by the neighbouring 
Rajahs, who were eager to repel the tyran- 
ny of Tippoo, to whom the greater part of 
the Malabar coafl no longer owned fubjec- 

F 4 About 

( 88 ) 

About funfet, the fignal was made that 
the troops would land to the fbuthward of 
the harbour ; and foon after they were dif- 
covered in the boats, and every movement 
promifed a fpeedy attack. The garriibn, 
during the night, lay on their arms, and 
every neceflary arrangement took place to 
facilitate their landing, which was anxi- 
oufly expected. But how great was the dif- 
appointment of the garrifon ! for in the 
morning no difpofition appeared in their 
fuppofed deliverers to give them relief; on 
the contrary, they feemed to have forgotten 
thofe whom they came to fuccour, and 
were preparing to abandon them to deftrucYi- 
on. It isimpoiiibletoexprefa the concern and 
indignation of the officers and foldiers at a 
treatment fo cruel and unmerited ! 

In the mean time, it was agreed upon be- 
tween TTippoo, General MacLeod, and the 
Commodore, that the garrifon ihould have 
a fupply of provifions for a month. Thefe 
proviilons were accordingly landed, but in 
quantity they were found fcarce fufficient for 
fifteen days confumption, and the beef, 
pork, bifcuit and rice, were unfit for ufe, 


bearing evident marks of provifions which 
had been condemned fome years before, and 
fet afide from the life of the King's fquadron. 
Even a fupply of fire wood was entirely 
neglected, an article, fo effentially ne- 
ceiiarv to every befieged place, and of which 
but very little remained in the fort. Nor 
was there a fupply of medicines or other ne- 
cefTaries, though thehofpitals were crowded 
with the fick and wounded, and the whole 
of the troops in a weakly ftate It was thus, 
thofe humane commanders, who had been 
entrufted with the difcharge of this import- 
ant duty, exerted themfelves in relieving 
the garrifon 

The mips of war continued manoeuvering 
ofFtlie harbour till the iftof December. It 
was evident that the fudden and unexpected 
appearance of that fleet, before Mangulore, 
had occafioned the greatefl confufion and 
panic among the enemy ; for they were 
feen withdrawing their heavy artillery from 
the lines, and a number of their troops filed 
off to a diftance. If the Englifh had taken 
advantage of this favourable opportunity, 
with that vivacity which circumftances de* 


(. 9 - ) 

manded, the enemy had infallibly been 
difperfed, or reduced to the neceffity of 
leaving that part of the coafr. On the con- 
trary, they were allowed feven days to reco- 
ver from their confirmation ; and Tippoo 
knew, that delays, ever favorable, to a na- 
tive, are ever fatal to a ilranger. This con- 
viction determined him to reafiemble his 
forces, and feeing thofe that oppofed him 
timid and circumfpecl:, he formed an excel- 
lent difpoiition for repelling any attempt the 
Englim might make, for the more effectual 
relief of Mangulore. 

The fame day, the garrifon had the mor- 
tification to fee the fleet with the land forces 
on board, fail from the road, and {land to 
the fouthward for Tellicherry. When they 
were getting -under way, two guns were 
fired by the garrifon, and a fignal was dif- 
played from the moft conspicuous part of 
the fort, " that they were on bad terms 
with the Nabob and required immediate 
fuppo.rt," And fome time after, " that 
unlefs fpeedily fuccoured they could not 
hold out any longer." Thefe fignals were 
made in view of the fleet, which, never- 


( 9* ; 

tlielefs continued its courfe. The ftiip 
which" had the General on board, however, 
returned, anchored in the road, and remained 
there till the 3d of the fame month ; iignaU 
being again difplayed, and at laft anfwered, 
when (he was preparing to ftand after the 
fleet, " that they mould be fpeedily fuc- 
coured." This promife proved fruitlefs : of 
a condud fo myfterious, time muft be 
left to develope the fecret. For the garri- 
fon were then, and it feems the public are 
at this day, totally ignorant of the inftruo 
tions under which thofe officers a&ed. But 
furely no orders could have reftri&ed them 
from fupplying the place, conformably 
to the tenour of the ceflation of hoftilities, 
with a fufficiency of wholefome provifions 
for one month ; abundance of which, at that 
time, might have been procured from any 
part of India. Whatever might have been. 
the original deftination of the army under 
General Mac Leod, yet it was a matter of 
public notoriety, even in the Nabob's Dur- 
bar, that it was in reality intended for the 
reduction of Cannanore. 


( 92 ) 

This fettlement formerly belonged to the 
crown of Portugal ; in the year 1505, Fran- 
cis Almeed obtained leave of the king of 
that country, to build a fort, which was 
called St. Angelo ; and Lopez Britto, with 
1 50 -men, was left Governor of it. This 
was not only intended to defend them a- 
gaihft the infults of the Arabians, but alio 
as a bulwark for himfelf and his people 
againfl the invafion of their neighbouring 

The Hollanders, on their firft arrival on 
this coaft, having been joined by the natives, 
who were become weary of the tyranny of 
the Portugueze, difpofleffed them of Can- 
nanore, with very little trouble, about the 
year 1660. The Dutch fometime after- 
wards, fold the fort and territory to Ali Ra- 
jah a Mahommedan partizan. 

The fortrefs of Cannanore is fituated on 
a point of land clofe to thefea, and together 
/ with its natural and acquired advantages, may 
be deemed one of the ftrongeft and moft 
complete belonging to the native powers in 
that part of India. At a very trifling 


( 93 ) 

expence, it might be finimed agreeable to 
the rules of modern fortification, and made 
a military poft of the utmoft confequence. 
Hence it appears to be a place. of much great* 
er importance than Tellicherry, which is 
not tenable, if it were in vetted by a regular 

During the -late war between the Englifh 
and Hyder Ali, the city of Cannanore be- 
came the centre, and indeed the only place 
of trade, belonging to the natives, on that 
fide of India. It was alfo the depofitory of 
the moil valuable effects of rich merchants 
who frequented that place, on account ^of 
the ready market for goods of all forts; met 
twith there, from whence they t were di ft ri- 
buted to the inland provinces ; and af the 
fame time the manufactures and natural 
productions of the country form a very coni]- 
derable part of its commerce. The trade 
is chiefly carried on by Maplas, a race of 
-rigid Mahommedan adventurers, who be- 
gan to efbblifh themfelves on this conti- 
nent, about the beginning of the eighth cen- 
tury,and wereA pottles as welt as merchants, 
They foon became the principal factors of 


( 94 ) 

Arabia, Perfia and Egypt ; and were treated 
witji many diftinguifhed marks of refpeft 
by the Zamorin, at that time the moft pow- 
erful prince on the coaft of Malabar, who, 
equally with his fubjects, wimed to keep 
tip an intercourfe with thofe countries. 
Here they multiplied to a great degree, and 
as their religion allows of polygamy, they 
marry in every place where they make any 
flay. This nation forming no alliance with 
ftrangers, has preferved its peculiar man- 
ners ; but though their religion forbids ufu- 
ry, they are not fcrupulbus in that refpecl ; 
and they are a treacherous ally, and a cruel 
and inveterate foe. 

About the 1 1 th of November, two of 
the Company's veflels proceeding from 
Carwar to Tellicherry with troops, happen- 
ed unfortunately to be wrecked in a gale of 
wind, on the coaft near Cannanore ; and 
Lieutenants Whildon and Mathews, the 
latter, brother to the unfortunate General of 
that name, with 300 fepoys, were feized 
and delivered up to Tippoo, by Ali Rajah 
Bibv, the Queen of that country. Repeat- 
ed applications and remonftrances were in 
i vain 

( 95 ) 

vain made for their releafe by the Refident 
of Tellicherry ; and on refufal, an inten- 
tion was declared of taking fatis faction, as 
well for this injury, as forthemimic;-i!d. 
fition (hewn, in many other refpects, by the' 
government of Cannanore, to the Englifh. 
There might be here fomd ground for latis- 
facYion, but in general it has been obferva- . 
ble, that avarice has lately made fo great 
a progrefs in this part of the world, that 
the commander of a military force, need 
only create an occafion for plunder; and if 
the civil government is afiigned a (hare of 
the fpoil, he thence may be affured, that 
fb far from apprehending difagreeable con- 
fequences, his conduct will meet with the *. 
higheft approbation. Such bufmefs is more 
aptly carried' on, when the femblance of 
war may be ftill fuppofed to {ubfift ; but in 
times of actual peace, the arts of peculation 
fucceed but (lowly, all being attention to 
the fame traffic ; whereas the profits by war 
being of a more rapid acquifition, become 
of confequence more alluring, as being ia 
the end more profitable. 


The army under General Mac Leod, had 
no fooner arrived at Tellicherry, than an 
expedition was formed, in order to chaftife 
the Biby of Cannanore. On their approach 
to this town, the fort was fummoned-to 
furrender, but the Governor fhewing an 
intention to fland a fiege, batteries were 
erec~bed, and after a practicable breach had 
been effected, it was carried by ftorm on 
the I4th of December, after a gallant and 
defperate refinance from the garrifon, 
a number of whom fell in the affault. 
In the attack and reduction of this place, 
audits dependencies, the lofs of the Englifh 
in killed and wounded, amounted to about 
100 men. 

The troops, on this occasion, -diftinguifhed 

themfelves by every proof of difcipline and 
humanity, injuring no perfon they found 
in the place unarmed, and in the fury of 
the attack, fparing many who laid down 
their arms and fubmitted. 

On the fall of Cannanore, the Rajah 
Biby or Princefs,was made prifoner of war, 
as ibe was an ally of and dependant on Tip- 

( 97 ) 

poo Sultan, that Prince complained loudly 
of the conduct of the Englifh General, as 
an infringement of the truce which had 
b-en concluded at Mangulore. 

I (hall now refume my narrative of the ,y 
blockade of Mangulore. Duringthe monthof 
January 1784, the fufFerings of the garrifon 
daily increafed, and evils which till now 
they had not experienced, prefented to their 
minds the mod diimal profpecl of approach- 
ing deftrucTion. The alternative now left 
them, was either to perim by famine, or 
become the victims of an incenfed and cruel 
enemy. They chofe the former, as moft 
becoming foldiers and Britifh fubje<ls, and 
accordingly devifed a variety of expedients 
for protracting their miferable exiftence : 
fome employed themfelves, as often as their 
duty would permit, in fearching for frogs 
in the wet ditch ; and thofe, whofe duty 
prevented them from obtaining food in 
that manner, were under the neceffity 
of purchafing it, at a high price, of o- 
thers. In a mort time, the refource of 
frogs failed. The next was that of killing 
vultures, crows or any fort of birds, that 
G came 

came within mufquet-fhot. This expedi- 
ent lafled but for a fbort time, and thofe 
only who were good marks- men, could 
avail themfelves of it, for the fagacity of 
the birds foon informed them of their dan- 
ger, and they avoided coming near the 
garrifon. To this fucceeded the moft mi- 
ferable fcene of diftrefs, which human na- 
ture, perhaps, ever fufFered. The Euro- 
pean privates fed upon dogs, which had 
devoured the dead bodies of their fellow- 
fufferers ; and many from eating herbs of 
a. noxious quality, put an end to their fuf- 
fcrings and their lives. 

It is true, that towards the latter part of 
the blockade, the enemy fent in fome arti- 
cles of provilion for fale ; but as this fel- 
dom happened, as the quantity was but 
fmall, the quality bad, and the price extra- 
vagant, the garrifon could not be faid to 
receive by it any eiTential relief. There 
was great reafon, befides, to imagine that the 
.fole intention of fending in this Bazar, was 
with a view to encourage defertion, and 
to gain intelligence of the flare of the gar- 
rifon. At this time, the number of iick in- 

c re a fed 

( 99 ) 

cfeafed daily, and fome of the moft danger- 
ous dileafes made their appearance, parti- 
cularly putrid fevers, dyfenteries and the 
Icurvy. The havock made by the two rlrft, 
was incredible. By the fcurvy many of the 
officers, as well as of the privates, were af- 
fefted in a high degree ; and the wounds of 
many, which had been healed, broke out a- 
frefh. The fepoys, who had nothing more 
to fubfift on but a fcanty allowance of bad 
rice, or blackgram, fuch as is commonly 
ufed for feeding horfes, were, in confequence 
of their low diet, affe&ed with blindnefs, and 
from fuufet to funrife, incapable of difcen;- 
ing objects except by the light of the 
fire; and the miferable fufFerers were ge- 
nerally led by their comrades, from the 
evening parade, to their huts. 

Thefufferings of the troops, in the latter 
part of the blockade, were fo extreme, that 
it is hardly poffible to conceive a more dif- 
treffing or more horrid fcene of mifery 
that a tyrant like Tippoo, mould be void 
of humanity that he mould delight in cru- 
elty, and laugh at the furTcrings of thofe 
whom he facrificed ; that he mould invent 
G 2 tortures 

tortures for the Englifh prifoners, againfl 
whom he may be faid to have fworn eternal 
enmity, the world will not be furprized to 
hear; but that an Englifh garrifon, after 
exhibiting rare inflances of courage, refolu- 
tion, and fidelity, mould be fhamefully a- 
bandoned by their own countrymen, may 
appear incredible ! They were not indeed 
merely abandoned, but treated with con- 
tempt, and even refufed common neceflaries 
to preferve their exigence. Well might they 
have exclaimed with the Pfalmift : " // is 
not an open enemy that has done us this dtfionour, 
for then could we have borne it, but it was even 
thou, our companion, our guide, and our fami- 
liar friend I" 

As a confequence of encreafing hardfhips, 
defertion among the troops became more 
frequent, in the month of January, than it 

/ had been at any former period of the fiege. 
From three to five Europeans, and from 
fifteen to twenty fepoys deferted daily, and 
fometimes an entire party went oft from 
fome of the out-pofts, carrying with them 

^ their arms and accoutrements. 


The Europeans afterwards feen in the 
enemy's lines, were known to have declar- 
ed, that no 1 other motive, but the love of 
life had induced them to go over to the ene- 
my ; that in the garrifon, they faw no 
hopes of relief, and the fate likely to await 
them, in common with their fellow-foldiers, 
was either to perifh by famine or difeafe. 
Many, however, retained fufficient refolu- 
tion and fidelity, to enable them to fur- 
mount every kind of hardship. 

AndrMJtbJlcrn patience^ fcornlng wca& complaint^ 
Harden their hearts againft availing want. 


The 23d of January, feemed to prefent 
the neceffity of deciding on the future fate 
of the garrifon. Every kind of provilion 
was then nearly exhaufted; upwards of 1000 
men lay fick in the hofpitals, and there 
were only about 120 Europeans, with 
250 fepoys, who could be deemed capable 
of doing duty. A council of war was there- 
fore affembled at the head-quarters. It con- 
fifted of the commander in chief, and all 
G 3 the 

the captains in garrifon, who fat this and 
the three following days in deliberation. 

It appears that the members were not 
unanimous on the urgent neceility of pro- 
pofing terms of capitulation to the Nabob, 
although it was obvious, that there was no 
alternative, and that they muft furrender 
on fuch terms as he might be pleafed to 
grant. For admitting that they might re- 
ceive further fupplies of bad proviiions, it 
could not anfwer any falutary purpofe, by 
reafon cf thediminutionofthe garrifon from 
mortality, ficknefs and defertion. It further 
appeared, from the whole of Tippoo's con- 
duel, that he would liften to no terms of ac- 
commodation, until Mangulore was either 
given up to him, or he mould bs compelled, 
by force of arms, to relinquifh his purpofe 
of reducing it. 

On the 2 yth of January, the council of 
war, however, refolved to propofe terms of 
capitulation. Colonel Campbell, accom- 
panied by fome of his officers, proceeded 
with that view to the enemy's camp. When 
introduced into the Durbar, the Nabob 


(ignified to the Colonel, that he was per- 
fectly well acquainted with the real fituati- 
onofthe garrifon, and his motives for ca- 
pitulating, concerning which, he had been 
four days deliberating with his officers. 
The moft urgent he fpecihed, were, the 
want of provifions, and defpair of receiving 
any further fupply. He was, therefore, feii- 
fible they were under the neceffity of accept- 
ing from him, whatever terms he mould 
think proper to grant. The Colonel re- 
plied, that the ftate of the garrifon was 
nearly as reprefented by his Highnefs, 
and if the terms he had to propofe mould 
meet with his Highnefs's approbation, he 
was ready tofurrender the place to him. The 
Nabob without infilling on any material al- 
teration in the articles, feemed inclined to ra- 
tify them, when the Colonel intimated, that 
a fupply of provifions for prefent ufe was 
neceflary ; which Tippoo was pleafed to give 
orders for being lent early next morn- 
ing ; and accordingly, at the time appoint- 
ed, a plentiful Bazar was fent in, with 
abundance of all kinds of provifions, which 
were fold to the garrifon at a reafonable rate. 
In the afternoon, a number of Pattamars, 
G 4 and 

and other vefTels were collected in the har> 
bour, for the purpofe of tranfporting the 
garrifon to Teilicherry. 

Atfun rife, onthe29th,an Eaft-Indiaman, 
with one of the Company's grabs, and five 
fmail pattarnars, appeared in fight from the 
fouthward. About nine o'clock, they an- 
chored in the road, and foon after made fig? 
pals for a boat, which were not anfwered 
by the garrifon. At eleven o'clock, the 
Colonel, attended as before, byfomeofhis 
officers, went to the Nabob's Durbar, and 
iigned the articles of capitulation. And in 
the afternoon, two officers were difpatched 
on board the Indiaman, to acquaint the mi- 
litary officers who came from Teilicherry 
ill that veflel, that the garrifon had furren- 
dered. During this day, upwards cf 8000 
of the enemy's coolies were employed in 
embarking the {lores and baggage of the 
garrifon. In the evening, orders were iflued 
for the troops to hold themlelves in readi- 
nefs to ^mbark. 

Among thefe particulars, it; may not be 
undeserving of notice, that before the arti- 

cles of capitulation had received the feal and 
{ignature of the Nabob, he defired that it 
might be remembered, and fignified by an 
inftrument in writing, that he had ufed no 
indirect means to procure the giving up of 
the fort, the folecaufeof which, on the 
part of the befieged,was their beingtotallydef- 
titute of provifions. He alfo fhewed himfelf 
extremely felicitous to know, whether the 
furrender of the place, fo circumfhnced, 
might, in any refpecl, be injurious to the cha~ 
racier of Colonel Campbell as an officer, and 
having been allured that it could not, he im^ 
mediately figned the capitulation. Suffice it to 
fay, that on this occafion, he gave the moil ^ 
ample and honourable teftimony to the V 
gallantry of this brave garrifon, and that 
the conditions were fuitable to the genero^ 
fity of thofe fentiments. For every requi^ 
fition made by the Colonel was liberally 
complied with, and in a manner which 
would do honour to the moil exalted cha- 
racter among European princes. The gar- 
rifon was allowed all the honours of war ; 
cannon, arms and ammunition, with pub- 
lic fr.ores of every kind, whether belonging 
f;o the King, or the Eafl India Company, 


as well as every article of private property, 
Were fecured to the owners. 

On the 3oth, about eleven o'clock in the 
forenoon, the garrifon completely accouter- 
ed, with their arms mouldered, two field 
pieces, lighted matches, colours flying and 
drums beating, marched out at the fea- 
gate, to the river fide, where they embark- 
ed. Tippoo's people, on this occafion, be- 
/ haved with the utmoft civility to our men, 
and mewed a readinefs to afford them every 
a/liilance in their power. This was not, 
however, all the refpecl: (hew r ed them, for 
when the feeble remains of that unfortunate 
garrifon appeared without the fort, in view 
of the troops that had affailed them, it ex- 
cited their aftonifhment and admiration, 
thatfo fmall a number, mould, for fuch a 
length of time, have been able to withfhmd 
the efforts of the mod powerful army ever 
feen in India, commanded by a Prince of 
fignal courage, and military talents, and 
aided by his allies the French, whofe num- 
ber alone, was more than equal to the Eu- 
ropean force cf the garrifon. 


On the 3 1 ft of January, the garrifon was 
finally evacuated ; and thus terminated the 
fiege of Mangulore, after the place had 
been fhut up eight months and thirteen 
days. The garrifon, which originally con- 
fifted of 541 Europeans, and 2850 fepoys, 
on the day of furrender, was, by various 
cafualties, reduced to 1235 men 5 f that 
the total lofs, from the beginning to the end 
of the fiege, amounted to 1937, which ap- 
pears to exceed, by 709, the lofs fuftained 
during the late fiege of Gibraltar. 

Upon the whole, however, it appears 
doubtful, whether the ignorance of the ene^ 
my in the fcience of attack, or the fpirit 
and valour of the befieged in defence, contii- 
buted moft to the fecurity of the place. Few 
examples, are to be found in hiftory, of 
greater bravery exerted by a handful of men. 
Their protection in many places, depended 
upon nothing more than mud-walls. That 
the garrifon w r as fkilfully defended is evi^ 
dent from this circumftancee, that the taking 
of the covert-way by the enemy, was but 
a fmall ftep towards obtaining poflcflion of 
the place. Indeed the rafhnefs and precipi- 

tancy of the befiegers, will often intimi- 
date a weak and ignorant Governor : but 
when attacks are thus eagerly hurried on 
again ft a place, commanded by a brave and 
intelligent officer, he may, generally, take 
fuch an advantage of theie incautious pro- 
ceedings, as ought to deter an enemy from 
venturing to adopt them, who pofleffes the 
leaft degree of prudence or regard for the 
lives of his foldiers. 

The manner of conducting approaches by 
the native powers in Hindooftan, againffc 
regular fortifications, efpecially when de- 
fended by Europeans, is fo extremely in- 
judicious, that the number of thofe who 
fall in an affault, is always far fhort of the 
the multitudes who perifh by unwholefomc 
provifions, the inclemency of the weather, 
and the frequent fkirmifhes which happen 
during a long fiege. Delays alfo ever dif- 
courage the btfiegers, and give frefh fpi- 
rit and confidence to the befieged. To 
thefe confiderations may be added, the riik 
incurred, from flow approaches, of being ob- 
liged to raife the fiege ; a neceffity to which 
the Nabob's army before Mangulore mutt 


( I0 9 ) 

have been reduced, if that garrifon had been 
relieved. This was certainly practicable, 
either by allowing the army under Colonel 
Fullarton to advance from Palghautcherry, 
or if General MacLeod had thought expe- 
dient to land his force, which was before 
the place on the 25th of November. But 
the government of Madras, who might be / 
fuppofed to have had many opportunities of 
being well acquainted with the difpofition 
and ambition of Tiopoo, made no attempt 
to relieve Mangulore. On the contrary, 
impolitic as it muft appear, that govern- 
ment iffued orders for withdrawing the 
fcuthcrn army from Palghautcherry, be- 
fore the fmallefr. advances had been made, on 
the part of the enemy, towards fettling the 
preliminaries of peace. Nor was it lels ab- 
furd and inconfiderare in them, to fend the 
gentlemen who had been deputed to con- 
clude a peace in behalf of the Company, 
into the midft of a country, under the ju- 
rifdiction of a faithlefs tyrant, who, to fe- 
cure the object of his ambition, might not 
fcruple to trample on the laws of nations; 
and in that fituation, thefe gentlemen re- 
J m allied 

mained, until he had time fully fufficicnt 
to accomplish his wifhes. 

The defence of Mangulore for fuch a 
length of time, may be juftly confidered as 
one of the moft important events of the 
late ivar in India, for nothing was ever 
more critical than the fituation of the Bri- 
tifh affairs in Afia at this period, and few\ 
things could have been more fortunate in 
the prefent juncture, than the great effects 
which it manifeftly produced, by obliging 
Tippoo to withdraw the greater part of his 
forces from the Carnatic. Had he remain- 
ed there to co-operate with the French 
troops under the Marquis de Bufly, and 
Monf. Duchemin, confidering, the ruin- 
ous ftate of the Company's affairs at that 
time on the coaft of Coromandel, there 
could fcarcely have been a hope of their 
poffeffions, on that fide of the peninfula, 
not falling, almoft a defencelefs prey, into 
the hands of the enemy. 


It is, therefore, natural, in a country like 
this, which had long laboured under the 
calamities of war, to look back upon the 


( 1" ) 

events by which that war was terminated, 
and to make fome enquiry after thofe to 
whom we are indebted for the return of 
peace : and this, not with a view of inform- 
ing ourielves whether the conditions by 
which it was qbtained, were or were not 
adequate to our fituation, but with a grate- 
ful remembrance of thofe, without whofe 
fignal courage and vigorous exertions, \ve 
might not have been able to have infifted 
on any conditions whatever. 

I have already premifed, that it is not 
my intention to fwell this narrative, by a 
minute detail of military operations ; yet 
it is with no fmall reluctance and regret 
that I muft, for the prefent, decline a task, 
which from the various proofs it affords of 
skilful conduct in the officers, and difci- 
plined valour in the troops, would fo pleaf- 
ingly gratify my private feelings. But while. 
I am celebrating the many ftriking advant- 
ages derived to the Englifh nation, from 
the gallant defence made by the garrifon of 
Mangulore, it might be deemed unjuft topafs 
unnoticed the able exertions and perfever- 
ance of Colonel John. Campbell, who com- 

( 1*1 ) 

marided in chief, during the fiege of that 
place. But not being prepared to enter in^ 
to a detail of his fervices, I fhall content 
myfelf with briefly obferving, that though 
he poflefled few of the requifites for con- 
fiituting the character of a Wolf or a 
Daun, and did not feem formed for brilli- 
ant actions ; he was, neverthelefs, endued 
with courage in an eminent degree ; and 
during the iiege, attended with unwearied 
affiduity to the minutiae of his important 
truft, in which he was well fupported by 
the indefatigable vigilance and bravery of 
his officers and men. 

This bright picture, however, was not 
without its fhades. He had failings, and thefe 
/ chiefly arifing from the impetuonty of his 
temper, which fometimes carried him lengths 
not altogether juftifiable. The high opinion he 
entertained of his rank and abilities mads 
him often the dupe of interefted and defign- 
ing men. It appears, indeed, thathe was al- 
ways inclined to ferve his friends, but this, 
m many inftances, he did at the expence 
of more deferv ingcharacters, whom he was, 
but too often, equally folicitous to injure. 

Henc e 

( "3 ) 

Hence he became felfim in the higheft de- 
gree, and his refentment, where once he 
conceived himfelf offended, was rooted and 

I am far from meaning in triefe remarks 
to depreciate the merits of Colonel Camp- 
bell as an officer ; my intention is only to 
difcountenance that extravagant eulogy, 
fo frequently and fo blindly beflowed on 
imagined worth ; and in this I appeal to the 
teftimony of thofe who knew him perfon- . 
ally and intimately* 

It was the fincere wifh of thofe who were 
fufFerers with him, that he might have fur- 
vived, not only to vindicate his own conduct 
in the defence of Mangulore, but alfo to 
bring forward to public view, thofe tyrants y , 
and their instruments, to whole pernicious 
counfelsrhe misfortunes of thatgarrifon may 
be j uftly afcribed. The nation might there- 
by have had an opportunity of doing juftice 
on thofe who had wantonly injured its ho- 
nour and its interefr. It is doubtlefs from . \ 
fcreening fuch delinquents that the greater >/ 
part of the evils in this quarter of the globe 
H have 

( 11+ ) 

have originated, as no check is impofed on 
the ambition of artful and defigning men. 

Although the Britim character for hu- 
manity, has in no part of the world been 
better fuftained than in India ; although 
there be no State or Prince in that country, 
who will not acknowledge the juftice of this 
remark, yet the late war, which was carried 
on with various fuccefs, and under confider- 
able difficulties, has been productive of num- 
berlefs calamities to the natives, many of 
./ whom have fuffered grievous oppreffions. 
Large fums have been violently extorted from 
fome of their Princes by the contending 
armies, under pretence of defraying the ex- 
pences of the war : and many of the in- 
habitants have been obliged to abandon 
their native country, by the unrelenting 
. hand of European rapacity and oppreffion. 

The 'cultivation and commerce of the 
country likewife fuftained great detriment. 
A variety of circumftances has fufficiently 
demonftrated, that fuch wars, and fuch a 
mode of conduct as has been adopted re- 
pedting the natives, are totally inconliftent 


( "5 ) 

with the interefls of a Commercial company, 
and repugnant to every principle of found 
policy. Inflead of being fubfervient to the 
government at home, the ndminiflration in 
India has ever affected independence, and 
been actuated by a fpirit of fyftematic dif- 
obedience. The views and interefls of pri- 
vate men, not the principles of commerce, 
or of patriotifm, have been the rules of their 
conduct. Dominion, power, and wealth, 
are often acquired by good fortune ; but to 
preferve them is the province of political 
iagacity. Greater glory, as well as greater 
advantage, is, therefore, to be acquired by 
retaining and improving, than by extending 

n 2 TO 




My laft was from Mangu- 
lore, informing you of its furrender, and 
requefting that you would give fuch affift- 
ance to the Honourable Company, as lay in 
your power.- A large body of horfe and 
foot, under the command of Mahomed Ally, 
from the Carnatic, has joined the forces 
that oppofe me : and they now amount to 
fifty thoufand men, with twenty -five pieces 
of cannon. From the number that I told you 
J could colled for the field, your Lordftiip 
will determine whether I can make head 
againft the foe, with any probability of fiio* 
cefs. It mail be my endeavour to preferve 
what has been gained, and to keep the low 
country clear of the Nabob's troops. But 
it has been out of my power to prevent a 


number of petty Rajahs feizing their anci- 
ent inheritance, which was wrefted from 
them by Hyder; and fome neighbouring 
Polygars have made encroachments. 

I have not the power of punifhment, and 
am under the neceffity of taking flight no- 
tice of their irregularities ; but to check 
thofe upftarts, it takes me three hundred 
Europeans, and one thoufand Sepoys, that 
are wanted to face Mahomed Ally, whofe 
army, is now only forty miles from Bid- 

I have great hopes that fomething ef- 
fectual will be done on your fide, by the 
active exertions of your fouthern army to- 
wards Coimbettore ; while your grand ar- 
my is expelling the enemy from the Car- 
natic, I mall be able to keep rny footing, 
until reinforced. 

I have the pleafure of informing your 
Lordfhip, that all the low country, from 
Carwar to near Cape Comorin, is under our 
command, excepting the aforementioned 
impediments from the Rajahs, which com- 

( "9 ) 

mence from ten miles fouth of Mangulore 
to Cannanore, and the Nabob's troops have 
pofieflion of Decal, and another fort, againft 
which I have fent a battalion of Sepoys. 

I think it not unlikely that the French 
will land fome troops at Calicut, after the 
departure of our fleet from the coaft. Such 
a meafure might be productive of the moft 
dangerous confequences, in my prefent di- 
vided flate. 

I have the honour to' be, 

Your Lordfhip's mofl obedient 
and mofl: humble fervant, 

March 28th, 1783. 


( "I ) 


Lieutenant General, and Commander in Chief. 

S I R, 

SINCE I did myfelf the ho- 
Hour of informing you of the furrender of 
Mangulore, there has arrived from the 
Carnatic, a conliderable body of horie and 
foot, under Mahomed Ally, which joined 
to thofe that now oppofe me, amounts to 
fifty thoufand men, with twenty pieces of 
cannon. The extent of country to be pro- 
tected, with the number of garrifons to 
be fecured, has entirely broken my force, 
fo that I cannot collect a party fufficient to 
aft offensively, nor indeed to defend what 
has been gained without effeftual affift- 

I have repeatedly written to Bombay, 

for reinforcements, but they are deaf to every 

requisition of fuch a nature fhould any 

I un- 

( "V ) 

unfortunate change happen, I can only la? 
ment that our endeavours, on this fide, 
fhould in the end prove fatal to the pub- 
lic caufe. 

I am forry to be obliged to inform you, 
that the conduct of fome of the fenior of- 
ficers of his Majefty's troops,* has been, in 
the higheft degree, abufive and fcurrilous. 
Lieutenant Colonels MacLeod and Hum- 
ber{r.on, and Major Shaw, went to Bom- 
bay to complain ; the former at a time, 
when he was ordered to command a detach- 
ment to march aga'mft the enemy, and 
Major Campbell has fince their abfence, 
kept up the ball of diflention. 

It will be impoffible for me to aft with 
thefe gentlemen, and I requeft that they may 
be ordered to the coaft of Coromandel, to 
ferve where my Aiiatic mode of proceeding 
may not give them offence ; thefe difputes 
have already injured the fervice, and will 
more ; for rather than have thefe gentle- 
men, I will be deprived of the zeal and 
valour of their regiments. 


*By the publication of thefe Letters, it is not meant to 
throw the fmalleft degree of reficdUon, upon the conduct of 
the King's officers alluded to by General Mathcvsrs. 

( I" ) 

The number of papers that have paffed, 
require much time to copy ; but I muft 
trouble you with the whole correfpondence 
that you may judge of the fpirit, which 
actuated thefe reiblutioners. 

The enemy's collected force is now a- 
bout forty miles from Bidnure. 1 have two 
garrifons between them and this city, an4 
am not, therefore, under any appr nfi- 
ons for either; but they can pafs them, and 
invade the low country, and my divided 
troops can only be fpectators of its defola- 

I have great hopes that the active exer- 
tions of the armies under your immediate 
direction, will drive the foe from the Car- 
natic, and threaten Seringapatam or Coim- 
bettore, which may enable me to fix myfelf, 
and by raifing recruits, be at the open- 
ing of the next campaign, in a fr,ate fit to 
fecond your views with a degree of certain- 
ty ; but the rainy feafon is the time that 
the enemy may be expected in thefe parts, 
and to oppofe them, I beg that you will 
let me have as manv troops'as you can fpare, 
pf thofe now expected from Europe. 

i I re- 

I requeft you will let me know, if you 
think there is any probability of the French 
landing troops at Calicut, during the ab- 
fence of our fleet from the coaft of Malabar, 
forfhould they join the force now there, it 
might be attended with fatal confequences. 

This blow might in fome meafure be 
guarded againft, if your fouthern army 
would move into the Coimbettore country, 
and they (I mean General Lang,) would be 
joined by three battalions of Travencores 

I have the honor to be, with the greatefl 


Your moil: obedient and mofl 
humble fervant, 


March i3th, 1783. 




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